Friday, January 27, 2006

Insomnia and electric bill

No, the two aren't related. I'm not up at 3 am because of the electric bill. I'm up at 3 am because I'm going some place special this weekend and I'm really excited about it! I still have a bit of preparing to do, so that's probably why I'm wide awake, which is just silly because I can't do this preparing while the rest of the household is asleep. I need to borrow my brother's printer and computer. I need to run down into the basement and root through boxes. I need to pack up a few things, but my sacks are in the bedroom where hubby peacefully rests. About all I can do is shower.

I also have a sore knee and a bit of pregnancy RLS that's keeping me up. And I was hungry. My tummy kept growling. So, once again, here I am early in the morning.

We got our electric bill in the other day. It's $.85 over budget. Over all, it's almost $20.00 higher than last month. Part of it is they jacked up the price of electricity use. The other part is waste. I feel like I follow around hubby and my brother all the time turning off lights and fans behind them. I'm guilty, too. I like to turn the electric heater on in the bathroom while I take my shower. I also prefer to turn on the vanity lights and the overhead lights. I've cut back by not turning on the vanity lights when I don't need them, and not turning on lights at all when I don't need them.

I did talk to my brother about our high electric bill and we came up with some solutions to help cut back. He said he'd unplug anything with an adapter he has while it's not in use. He also said he'd think about removing his nightlight air freshener because the nightlight annoys him anyway.

I mentioned the electric bill to hubby and he agreed that we can fix the seals on the doors of the fridge to make the fridge more energy efficient. Otherwise, actions speak louder than words, and I just continue to shut off lights in rooms that aren't in use.

Hubby likes convenience and comfort and I don't blame him after working out in the elements all day! But those things come at a price and that price keeps rising higher and higher. To help, though, I've been trying to cut back as much as possible durng the day while I'm home so we can afford an bit of added comfort for hubby when he comes home. Yesterday, I managed to cut out a full load of laundry in the dryer just by hanging a load to dry. I also did my sewing in the dining room as opposed to in the basement. I took advantage of the natural sunlight and the warmth of the house. The basement is dark and cold, so I have to jack up the heat, turn on a space heater and turn on lights just to work down there.

My next saving energy goal is to cut back on my computer use. Sometimes I'm on way too much and too long.

I'm also a bit of an environmentalist, and I believe one of the reasons why they're jacking up the cost of energy is because they're trying to get people to cut back. I may be wrong, and believe me, I'm totally NOT into conspiracy theories. However, I do see how the average American wastes energy! I do NOT believe that the energy we have is everlasting. I do believe there is a limit. I do believe we are not being good stewards of what God has provided for us. And I do believe that the majority of Americans have "gone too far" to go back to the dark ages without electricity and cars.

My mother told me that some people still have their Christmas lights up and running! I know we're a bit redneck-y where we live, but I'd think after this month's electric bill, people would shut off those lights!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Below the kitchen sink...

That icky place below the kitchen sink needs some attention now. I did have it on my schedule today, but spent the morning grocery shopping and errand-running, and the afternoon I spent working on our taxes.

What I want to do is prep below the sink for when my son is born. Right now the cabinet houses loads of household chemicals. I'm going to move those to a shelf in the basement, and when they're used up, I'll be replacing them with homemade, all natural, environmentally sound cleaners. Under the sink also houses my garbage pail. That'll probably remain.

*Side note* I prefer a small waste basket as opposed to a large kitchen garbage pail. The little waste basket is lined with a plastic grocery bag. When it is full (about every 2 days), I tie up the grocery bag and place it in the garbage bag lined garbage pail outside. This keeps odors down in the house. I recycle tins and plastics, burn cardboard (our garbage pick-up will not take cardboard for recycling), recycle paper, and hopefully soon I'll be able to throw veggie matter into a compost pile.

After the space is cleaned out, I want to remove the contact paper because under it is a rusty mess that needs to be taken care of. I'll scour the mess smooth, brush it clean, and then ask my brother to spray paint the area white. (Pregnant women are warned not to use spray paints). When it dries, I'll apply new contact paper, move the garbage pail back in, and add a bin for recyling paper.

This will eliminate the bin from next to the fridge, thus leaving an open space for hubby's boots and boot dryer!

The plan is laid out....when can I get it done? :)

ladyscott

Next on the agenda....

Getting hubby's lunch and coffee ready the night before.....

Right now, I get up before hubby and make his coffee and lunch for his long day at work. However, I trying to train myself to get it all made and ready to go the night before. After baby comes, who knows if I'll be able to make his lunch on the dot every morning. I might be nursing, or changing a diaper, or cleaning up after a diaper explosion, or finally getting some shut-eye after a night up with a colicy baby. Thus, I need to be prepared, and the best way to prepare is to have "fire drills" before hand. That is, to actually do the task repeatedly before it NEEDS to be done. :)

Ok, ok, I can just hear some readers now...."Why can't your hubby take up the time to make his lunch and coffee?" Believe me, there are many reasons, and not one of them is because he's lazy. It's because he works VERY hard! As hard as a newborn baby is, my hubby still works harder! Believe me. After baby's born, he will have to pour his own coffee and pack his own (already prepared) lunch (a ham and cheese sandwich won't last in his lunchpail overnight!) This is just a nice compromise for both of us. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I did it...

I rearranged a portion of the living room. Don't worry, I'm ok. :) I strapped on my belly band and took it very carefully. The heaviest thing I had to lift was the computer monitor...no heavier than a toddler. Baby's ok. He's kicking and rolling around as I type. :)

Anyhoo, I like this set-up better. I moved a bookcase into the dining room, which is rather sparce on furniture, so much so, it echoes. In it's place, I put the computer armoire. I like this better because it's not so "in your face" when you walk into the room. I like airiness and space. Where the computer was, I moved the cherry wood cabinet. Where the cabinet was next to the sofa, I placed the backgammon table that looked so out of place in the dining room. Much better!!

I even had time to get some sewing in!

Well, I'm off to drown my heartburn in some mylanta....

My Living Room

For some reason, my living room is not a place of comfort and relaxation for me. Today, I'm trying to remedy that. I'm going through my book cases and reorganzing and decluttering. I want to find a place for those magazine piles too and a place for the board games.

What I REALLY want to do is buy new curtains, a new entertainment armoire, a new rug, and rearrange the whole room! Lack of funds and a strict order not to lift or move heavy things prevent me from doing those things. I guess I'll have to be patient. It's just another fun challenge....redoing a room with the things I already have!

ladyscott

Monday, January 23, 2006

How I Keep and Organized Budget

First, I grab a budget book, a sheet of paper, a box of envelopes, hubby's pay stub, a pen and a marker (and a calculator if you need one).

Then, I list out on the sheet of paper all the bills and expenses we have. I list them in a column like this:

Hubby's Allowance
Mortgage
Groceries
Car Loan

etc, etc, etc.......

Next, I figure out two things: 1. When they need to be paid by 2. How much we pay on them. Ex:

Mortgage: first of the month, $700.00

After I finish that, I rewrite the column of expenses (without the dates and how much money). And then I divide each amount by 4. This is how much I set aside each week, so that by the time it comes to pay for it each month, I have the total all saved up already. For example:

Morgage: $175.00

I then check each amount to make sure it's UNDER what hubby brings home every week. I make adjustments where adjustments can be made (groceries, saving account, home repairs etc).

After that, I take one envelope per expense and write the expense on it. In the lower right hand corner, I write the amount that must go in there every week. In the upper left hand corner, I keep a ledger of when the money goes in and when and why it goes out. For example, I have an envelope for baby expenses. I'm allotted $20.00 a week, but if I spend $5.00 on a sleep sack I got on clearance, then I write that down in the ledger on the envelope. This way, if hubby wants to see where I'm spending the money he provides us, all he has to do is look at the envelopes.

Every week, when I go to the bank to withdraw hubby's paycheck, I take out the toal I need to fill each envelope.

This has worked out great for us! Not only are all our bills paid on time and in the proper amount, but we're able to stick to a budget strictly and we usually have money left over somehow. (Some of it has to do with extra paydays in the year...some months have 5 paydays in them as opposed to 4).

This works great if the woman is the household financial bookeeper and hubby is the main breadwinner. I think it's important that hubby is kept in the loop since he's not only the head of the household, but also the one busting his back to earn this money. This also works great if the breadwinner of the house has a regular paycheck.

This also helps avoid overspending, bounced checks, late fees, etc. It can also help pay off loans more quickly!

ladyscott

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Beating Blues and Blahs

Lately, I've been having a case of the blues....or perhaps the blahs. I haven't quite pinpointed it yet. What's the difference, you ask?

The blues are when you're a bit depressed.
The blahs are just when you're having a lazy, don't-feel-like-doing-anything day, or an I'm-not-feeling-100%-for-no-real-reason day.

Either way, they pretty much amount to the same thing. Poorer health and a wasted day. I may have a case of winter-time blues and I know I definately have the blahs. I'm not sick, I'm just feeling pregnant. Usually, I'd try to ride it out, but I know this time it's just going to continue. It's not like I'm in the first trimester looking forward to my second trimester where I feel a LOT better. I'm heading into the home stretch now, and every day seems to be becoming more and more of a challenge.

I've realized that the best way to combat this is to take care of myself. That's easier said than done, so I made up a daily chart for my Health and Well-Being. It's not good to be lazy and blue, especially when pregnant. I firmly believe that attitude and good health greatly contribute to having a better delivery, recovery and less of a chance of post-partum depression.

My chart consists of the date, a special note to myself and sections on my Spiritual, Emotional, Physical and Social well-being. Did I pray today and read God's Word? What have I done to perk up my attitude? Have I exercised? Did I drink enough water? What did I eat? Who did I chit chat with or write a letter to?

For me, it takes discipline to get stuff like this done. Right now, taking care of myself is a top priority in my life because taking care of myself is the only way I can take care of my son. Besides, I like feel good!

ladyscott

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dinner out

I love eating out! Today, hubby treated his parents and me to dinner at our favorite restaurant. I was concerned all day because of this heartburn. I usually order the veal parm, but heartburn dictates it's a big NO-NO. I managed well, though. :) I ordered the baked haddock. It was delicious! I got scalloped potatoes with it, a salad, a roll, and corn off the cob. I didn't finish my plate and my father-in-law teased me that I couldn't order dessert unless I finished the plate. I told him it was a pregnant woman's perogative. :b He was full, but I teased him back saying that he couldn't let me eat dessert alone. We both ended up ordering a slice a cheesecake. It was to die for!! And the best part? No heartburn! All that food and no heartburn. I even had ginger ale (carbonated drinks can aggrivate heartburn), but I asked the waitress to water it down for me.

ladyscott

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Heartburn!! Insomnia!

I'm getting really tired of this chronic pregnancy heartburn! No more bacon, no more spaghetti sauce or pizza, no more grilled cheese sandwiches. Even if I brown meat, drain it and add it to a casserole, I get heartburn from it. Carbs and steamed or raw veggies and lower-acid fruits are about the only things left for me to eat. To keep my protein up, I eat small amounts of fish okayed by my doctor, chicken, eggs (not fried) and yogurt. Otherwise, I'm hitting the Maylox bottle two to three times a day! Blech....well...at least I'll eat healthier. I think it's wise to keep an eye on what I eat and to be careful AND creative. The other night, I had whole wheat couscous with steamed carrots, broccoli and corn. It was good and filling! (The men got pork chops and french fries). And I didn't get heartburn.

I made the mistake of eating some bacon today....just a little! But it was enough to set off heartburn. I think playing with my dog and bending over a lot helped it along. So that's got me awake. Also, I'm hungry, thirsty, stomach-achy, twitchy, my brain won't shut up and the baby kicks the snot out of me whenever I lay down. So here I am.

I'll try to re-hit the sack at midnight.

Decluttered/Organized Thoughts

Do you ever find yourself unable the hear yourself think?
Is your mind so jam-packed that you can't get your thoughts in order?
Thoughts? What are those? I'm too busy!
Do you ever find you can't seem to get things done because you don't know where to start?
Where do we start when trying to prioritize our thoughts and organize our day in our minds?

We start with a prayer and this verse:

Proverbs 16:3 "Commit they works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."

Pray for the Lord to take all your day's works into His hands. Commit them to Him. He will declutter and organize your thoughts....help you think more clearly as to what needs to get done when and how to do it.

We may not realize it at first, but when we look back on our day as we lay in bed, we see that the day was less stressful than it could have been, and the more things got done!

Are you worried that you're wasting precious time each day? Commit your works to the Lord, and He can help make sure that doesn't happen.

It really does work! And I don't mean that in a magical sort of way. But it does!

Hymn:

"Be not dismayed what e'er you find, God will take care of you."

ladyscott

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

My doggy

Yesterday was my dog's birthday. Well, not really....we don't know exactly when she was born, but yesterday was the anniversary of when we got her from the SPCA, so we just call it her birthday. She's approx. 5 years old and VERY healthy. We celebrated by video taping her opening her presents. She got a nyla bone, tennis balls (her favorite brand is Wilson Titanium) and a new doggy sweater. Then we feasted on carrot cake (without raisins since raisins can harm a dog).

She's so much like a child! When she opened her sweater, she ignored it and went back to her new toys. It was almost as if she was saying, "Ewwww....clothes!" What kid wants clothes for his birthday? Then, she was really hyper and mischievous after the party, like a child can get after all that excitment!

Today, she is asleep at my feet while I type this. She's resting peacefully and snoring slightly under her "Linus" (her favorite blue blanket). Such a good dog! I'm so thankful for her.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Meme.....

2 names you go by:
1. Kate
2. Bug

2 parts of your heritage:
1. pierogis
2. sword fighting (just not now 'cause I'm preggy)

2 things that scare you:
1. how fast the world is changing
2. Dying before hubby

2 of your everyday essentials:
1. cold cereal
2. hot shower

2 things you are wearing right now:
1. Yoga pants
2. bathrobe

2 favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment):
1. Loreena McKennitt
2. Randy Travis
(Those are the two Cd's I listened to most recently at least)

2 favorite songs at the moment:
1. Blessed Assurance
2. Honkey Tonk Ba Donkey Donk is stuck in my head.....

2 truths:
1. It's REALLY cold out
2. My back aches

2 of your favorite hobbies:
1. singing
2. cooking

2 things you want really badly:
1. To get out of debt
2. To hold my son in my arms

2 places you want to go on vacation:
1. Nova Scotia
2. Colorado

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. Get out of debt
2. Raise a family

2 things you are thinking about now:
1. How I could go for a cookie right now
2. How much I love hubby!

2 stores you shop at:
1. Aldi
2. Price Chopper

Going and Growing

As my 3rd trimester approaches, I'm returning to first trimester feelings....a bit of nausea and exhaustion. I get sooooo sleepy now! Thankfully, both aren't as strong as they were in the first trimester, and I can usually work through them, so long as I eat carefully and take time to rest with my feet up.

I'm realizing once again that pregnancy is hard work and I can't do everything like I used to. Even getting up out of bed or off the couch is harder and takes longer than it did pre-pregnancy. Even putting on my socks in the morning takes an added effort. So, I understand that I need to rest and take things one at a time. This requires a schedule as well as flexibility....what a combo, like a big oxy-moron! Time management is key and so is not getting discouraged. I just keep going and growing. Soon, I'll have my baby boy in my arms, and time will be even more constrained!

Please don't think I'm complaining or over-analysing. I actually find this fun! It's like a game, a hobby for me to work things out and find the best method for myself and the situations I'm in! Attitude counts.

ladyscott

Friday, January 13, 2006

Better Half

I've had a couple of commenters ask about my hubby. Perhaps you too are wondering why there isn't much posted on my blog about my husband. That's a simple thing to answer. Hubby has spoken to me before about divulging his information. It's for him to divulge, not me. I respect that and love him for it and am thankful for his loving reproof. This blog is about my thoughts and my housekeeping. It's about our little cottage on the hill. It's a glimpse into the life of a semi-anonymous Christian housewife blogger. It's not a fly-on-the-wall look at our personal life. Therefore, I'm very careful about what I post on this blog concerning my husband.

I will say that there is very little for me to complain about, not that I would or should anyway. I have a very wonderful husband and I am in a very happy marriage. God has blessed us!

I attend an Assembly of God church, but it's not your typical AGchurch. It's much more old-fashioned, traditionalist and we don't share ALL the same views as other AG churches.

I thank my commenters for asking and take those questions as compliments. You are very kind to be interested in who I am. I really do appreciate that. Please continue to frequent my blog!

ladyscott

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Forgetting it's January

The snow is melting, the sun is out and it's 50 degrees here! I'm ready to start seeds and spring cleaning. But there's one thing I'm forgetting. It's still only January.

This is fluke weather. I keep trying to remind myself that there's 3 more months of winter left! Snow, ice, cold, wind, heating bills.....spring is not here yet.

I'm very thankful for this warm weather. It's certainly saved on heating bills! However, they're already saying expect snow and bitter cold by next week. It's January after all.

Learning that it's ok

I still feel guilty when I need to take a pregnancy day. That is a day when my body just crashes and I need to sleep and relax. So, I am teaching and training myself not to feel guilty. It is better for me and my baby to give in to these days (they usually come once or twice a week) and just relax. Sometimes I need to soak in a hot shower. Sometimes I need to sleep an extra 5 hours.

It's very important that I give in because if I don't and push myself, I end up in worse shape. When I give in, I usually sleep better at night, and am able to be much more active the next few days.

Stay-at-home wives in days gone by were encouraged to rest and relax during their pregnancies. I remember watching movies and shows from the 40's and 50's. When a woman announced her pregnancy, she was immediately asked to sit down and was catered to. Now, I don't expect to be catered to like the Queen of Sheba, but please let me sit down!

Today's woman, today's super-woman is expected to maintain a long, hard work week while pregnant. This just isn't good! Some women can handle it. Some women can't. So I refuse any more guilt.

I'm not being lazy. I'm not taking advantage of my situation. I'm doing what my body NEEDS.

Being pregnant is a full time job. Everything else is overtime. It's no wonder we pregnant ladies get so *yawn* sleepy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why we'd like to homeschool

I decided to edit this post because late last night, I was convicted that my previous post on homeschooling was too clamorous. I've been studying Proverbs and came across two verses that apply here: Chapter 9 Verse 13 states that a foolish woman is clamorous, while Chapter 11 Verse 16 states that a gracious woman retains honor. I want to be a gracious woman, so I was convicted last night to edit my clamorous post against public education and replace it with a gracious post answering questions I've received positively concerning homeschooling.

1. Why are you looking into homeschooling?
Hubby and I are both products of the public school system and we both feel that there is a lot lacking there. We feel the education children receive there is not the best we can give our children. We feel good teachers in the public school system often have their hands tied, and bad teachers are hard to get rid of. Also, more and more, the public school system is becoming flawed. Students are no longer educated, but taught to pass state mandated tests. The whole year is dedicated to passing each test. Unfortunately, locally the schools are becoming severely dangerous with undisciplined students and badly behaving teachers. We had two sex scandals last year alone between students and teachers, and this year, there have been numerous fights that include weapons. It's sadly not a place I as a loving parent would want to send my children.

2. You think you can teach your children better than a teacher with a university degree?
I sure can! I may not have a degree, but I was born to teach. My guidance counselor and many of my teachers thought I should have gotten into teaching. I have taught many private classes and I continue to teach private classes. I did some tutoring. Also, the homeschool groups out there have GREAT resources for teaching children all sorts of subjects. I'm also not afraid to learn as I go. If I do get stuck on a particular subject, I can seek help through other homeschoolers, private tutors, the public school system, and even a local college. Additionally, I believe part of homeschooling is teaching children to teach themselves to a certain degree. Self-education is a great way to improve oneself.

3. What about socialization? Won't your children be missing out on being with their peers?
What my children will miss out on are things I'm glad they'll miss out on. What they won't miss out on is socializing with friends and a mixed group of people. I certainly intend to involve my children in activities outside our home. There are large homeschooling groups and many homeschooling parents nearby with children my own can befriend. We have a friendly neighborhood, a large extended family, and we re-enact thus meeting MANY people from many walks of life. We also attend church. Not only will my children be socialized, but they will be socialized with many more different kinds of people than if they were stuck in school with the same peers year after year.

4. What if your child wants to play organized sports?
The homeschool groups in our state are starting some organized sports teams. There are also many city and town leagues, church leagues, summer leagues, etc. I'm still debating as to whether or not I'll allow my children to attend public school so they can play a school sport. To me, that's just not a good enough reason to go, but I also don't want to stifle my child's talents and ambitions.

5. Aren't your religious beliefs going to stifle what your children learn, say in science and sex ed?
I'm assuming you're reffering to evolution and birth control. Aren't the public school systems' politically correct beliefs stifling what children learn by not teaching "intelligent design" and glossing over abstinence education? (Ooops, I said I wasn't going to be clamorous). I DO intend to educate my children on the Theory of Evolution, but unlike the PSS, I'm teaching it as a theory many people and scientists believe rather than fact (which is how I was taught in the PSS). As for sex ed, I think it's important to teach each child separately when the child is ready, rather than in a co-ed group at a certain age when everyone is at a different maturity level). I will educate my child based on my religious beliefs concerning sex (that's my perogative), but I also think it's important to let them know about what's out there, and that includes birth control, what it does and it's positive and negative effects.

As a side note, I want to teach my children to think wisely for themselves. I don't want to feed them indoctrination and make them my little robots.

6. Can you maintain the hours it takes to educate your children?
My state mandates an equivalent of 180 school days and 900 hours (grades k-6) or 960 hours (grades 7-12) per year. I actually intend to exceed that as education will be put forth nearly every day and summers can be filled with extra-curricular classes.

7. I think most homeschoolers skimp on physical education in favor of piano lessons.
I do not intend to skimp on PE. I personally feel that letting my child ride his bike for half an hour while I take a nap or wash dishes is not true PE. I intend for my young children to learn games and activites similar to when I was in the PSS, and for my older children to learn different sports. I also intend to impart on them the benefits of physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.

8. Won't the home environment be distracting?
I don't believe it'll be any more distracting than the classrooms I sat through in the PSS. I remember getting in trouble because I would study in the hallways at school. When asked why I disobeyed school rules by sitting the hallways during class time, I explained that the hallways were the quietest, least disruptive areas of school. Even the library was a noisy, disruptive chaos. I like to be organized and I do intend to teach my children in an organized environment. Later, when we add on to our house, I'd like to turn the extra bedroom into a classroom.

9. What about time for yourself?
How kind of you to think of me! Thanks! I had 25 years of me-time. And during that time I yearned to clean hour and raise and teach my children. Now that I have that opportunity, I consider it doing what I want, same as someone who wants to grow up to be an acress and makes the big time. However, I do understand that personal time is important. It'll get scheduled in (in pencil). It just might take a few years. Frankly, I can't think of better me-time than gazing at my nursing baby.

10. What if your child wants to get into drama club, key club, yearbook, or something along those lines?
I intend to allow my child to expand in ways beyond what the PSS can. There are MANY community drama groups in the area. I intend for my children to adopt a charity a year. Homeschool groups also offer extra activities such as sewing classes, voice lessons, musical instrument lessons, photography, writing, etc. I'm quite sure my children will be well-rounded.

ladyscott

Sir Chas. Stallion Esq. and the early morning visit

At 2:30 am this morning, I felt stiff. One quick, full-body stretch and I felt it. *ping* I brace myself. I get a visit from Sir Chas. Stallion Esq. In other words, CHARLIE HORSE!! My right calf muscle feels like it's being ripped out. Do I panic? No. I use this as an opportunity to practice my breathing and relaxation techniques to get through pain (particularly labor). It subsides. I breathe a sigh of relief and nurse my leg while trying to go back to sleep. Then, Sir Chas. decides to do a repeat performance! I sit bolt upright in bed, renew my breathing and try to remain calm and not scream out in anger more than pain. I spend the rest of the night mostly awake, trying to get the heating pad to work it's magic on my muscle, and concentrating on not moving my leg in a way that'll trigger another Charlie Horse.

This morning, I roll out of bed only to find I can't walk on my right leg. The muscle is so weakened and stiff, it's practically useless. So, I don my boston terrier fuzzy slippers and hobble out. Hubby thinks it's hilarious. I step with my left leg, drag my right leg, step with my left leg, drag my right leg. It's quite a dance.

It's a couple hours later, and the muscle is still stiff and rather weak. Walking on it does help stretch it out, but really, I just want to go back to bed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Decluttering: Where to Start?

Clutter can become overwhelming fast. Clutter can alter your mood and the mood of your household. Clutter can make a clean house seem dirty. Clutter can cause anxiety. All this and it's hard to know where to begin in the decluttering process.

I suggest starting with the master bedroom. That should be the first room you declutter. Why is that? Isn't that the room guests are least likely to see? Can't I just shut the door and ignore the clutter the rest of the day?

Decluttering your master bedroom should be first on your list because your bedroom is where you get your rest. Clutter causes anxiety. Clutter alters your mood. Clutter can keep you from sleeping soundly. Also, especially if you're married, the master bedroom is a sanctuary for you and hubby. The master bedroom is a special place. You should treat it as one. It should NOT be a storage space, a catch-all, or an untidy mess. It should be relaxing; a place where you can breathe a sigh of relief. A place where you can concentrate on something or think of nothing at all. This is very important. If it's cluttered, it becomes a space you don't want to be in. It's no longer a sanctuary. You can no longer be relaxed in it.

So, I urge you to start decluttering in the master bedroom. Then, you can sleep more soundly and feel more relaxed and ready to tackle the rest of the house. :)

ladyscott

Monday, January 09, 2006

Garage door openers, deer, my bathroom

Now there's a subject line!

Hubby spent most of yesterday working on installing a garage door opener. It was supposed to be a quick project, but as all quick projects tend to do, it became one trial after another. After 5pm, he pressed the button and up the door went. He pressed it again, and down it went. Huzzah to my handy-man hubby!! Now, he's going to buy one for my bay of the garage! I feel so aristocratic!

Deer, deer everywhere! Yesterday evening, hubby and I enjoyed the deer coming up the hill and out of the woods to feed in the fields next door. I love deer. They're such beautiful animals. Yes, hubby's a hunter and I encourage him to hunt. We both enjoy venison, so we hunt for meat only and only what we need. Other than that, we love to watch deer.

At 2:30 am, hubby and I were both awake. Hubby needed a drink, and I just couldn't get comfy. He told me about the "combines" in the field. What?! I looked out the bedroom window, and the deer were still out there feeding. They were the combines. :) Three were very close to our house and I could see them clearly thanks to the moonlight.

Every Monday now, I'm spending the day doing housework. Particularly cleaning the bathroom. Here's how I clean by bathroom every Monday:

I wash the vanity and sink, including faucet and drain. I wipe down anything on the vanity that might get a little dusty. Then I wash the mirror. Next is the toilet. Inside and out wash. After that, I rinse the toilet brush, spray it with bleach anti-mildew spray, let it sit for a minute, rinse it off, and let it dry. Then I wash the toilet brush holder inside and out. Next is the bathtub. It's a constant battle. I'm STILL trying to figure out how to get rid of old soap scum. Any idea? I scrub the tub and walls the best I can without scratching the surface. I clean the faucet and knobs. I spray the seams with anti-mildew spray and rinse. Then, I shake out the bathroom rugs. (They get washed in the washing machine every other Monday). Next, I sweep the floor, then vaccuum, and then I wash the floor. I do it this way because I have a tile floor and I don't want bits of loose dirt to scratch the tile.

Twice a year, I wash the ceilings to get rid of mildew. One to two times a year, I wash the light fixtures. When needed, I clean the cabinets, kickplates, and heaters. Every two months, I wash the shower curtain in the washing machine and let it air dry. During the warm months, I keep up on the bathroom window, and I dust the blinds when needed.

ladyscott

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Bible's Desperate Housewife

I've been doing a chapter by chapter study of Proverbs since the first of the year. Hence, I'm on chapter 7 today. Before I read the chapters, I pray to God that I'll have a new understanding of these verses and that He will reveal to me verses that I need. In turn, I write them and write about them in a notebook.

Chapter 7 in Proverbs is about the Wiles of a Harlot, but after reading the verses, a subtitle of "The Bible's Desperate Housewife" works.

In this chapter, a foolish young man finds himself confronted with a woman.
Verse 10 "And behold, there met him a woman with the attire of a harlot."
*Note the Bible does say she IS a harlot. It says she's attired like a harlot. We think of a harlot as a professional prostitute at the most or a smutty girl at the least. But this woman had the attire of a harlot. Do we dress in a similar manner to harlots?

Verse 11 "She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house."
*This verse struck me because it's the opposite of what a Christian woman should be. Christian women are commanded not to be loud and stubborn. We're commanded to be keepers at home (Titus 2) and that's just more than staying home.

Verse 19 "For the goodman is not at home.."
Up until this verse, I thought the harlot was a single woman who used this as her career. But now that I've gotten to verse 19, I see that she IS a wife! She tells the young man that her husband is not at home and will be away for a while.
I nearly dropped my pen when I read this! She's MARRIED! This isn't just some street harlot. This is a married woman who's husband takes care of her. After all, she has aloes and egyptian linen for the bed.

Sounds an aweful lot like a Bible-times desperate housewife to me!

But that's really not the point. The point is that we as wives do not fall into the trap and pull others down with us. Reading this, especially verse 11, convicted me to make even more sure that I look and behave like a Christian lady should and not give in to smutty dress, brazen behaviors, and tempting flirtations.

ladyscott

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Business Venture

Hmmmm.....maybe I should open my business up to mail-in customers. I figured I would anyway because re-enactors who need mending done often live too far away for me to meet them. But would this work with regular customers?

I think it could, depending on the customer. If I received garments with a note describing what needs to be done, and hems pre-pinned I could do it.

What do you think?

ladyscott

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Home

I am so glad to be home! Every day I am able to accomplish more and more! Today I thought, "Wow, tomorrow is Friday already." I immediately started to stress until I realized, I don't have to drive 15 miles to work! I'm free to be home and get more stuff done! I'm free to set the house up for hubby's ultimate comfort when he comes home from toiling all day in bleak January weather. I'm free!! Who says being a housewife is bondage and slavery!?

I'm actually reading the Bible and praying more. I've picked up my harp. I can get laundry done in half a day. I'm planning and making meals again. I'm becoming super organized. I'm sleeping better and I'm not in as much pain. My eyes aren't so sunken in from stress. My dog is behaving better. I'm eating balanced meals and drinking enough fluids. My house is clean. I'm getting sewing done.

What a blessing!

ladyscott

Home Management Binder and Home Business

My home management binder is slowly coming together. I'd rather it be slow because I want it to come together right, and not be filled with stuff I don't need or use. I'm using Candy's http://genuineprofit.lifewithchrist.org binder as a basis, but I'm changing quite a bit right now. For example, rather than a master schedule, I've printed out a calendar month by month. In it, I'm writing which major chores I've done for that day. For example, yesterday I wrote that I went grocery shopping, and that I cleaned the entire fish tank filter and fed the tank and anti-nitrate to help get rid of algae. I'm going to make out another calendar that's going to be for menus. This way I can keep track of what I made when. I'd also like to include what I bought for groceries each week. I also plan to keep a record of new purchases made during the year (ie: yesterday I bought a new clock radio for the bedroom), a household budget and a household inventory.

I'm doing all this for a reason. I want to see what a whole year of my housekeeping looks like on paper before I start making out schedules and semi-permanant lists.

I also plan to have a section on homeschooling, starting with print-outs of my state's homeschooling information.

I also have a small poster that I'm saving to put in there on how to display the American Flag properly.

My front porch is just about the way I want it for my home business. I have a few things that need to be moved, but I can't move them. Dr. told me not to lift since I'm experiencing strong pain as my womb grows, usually after a lot of bending or lifting. So, I wait patiently for an opportunity to ask my brother or my husband for their assistance. I hate to inconvenience people.

But, the porch is so cute! I even having a fitting room for my customers, complete with cherry cheval mirror. I want to have a large, tufted ottoman in there, too, but I want one that's high enough to sit on like a dining room chair. Some of my previous customers have a hard time rising and lowering from chairs.

I'm moving the storage bench from the master bedroom to the porch for customers to sit on, and to make room in the bedroom for the baby's changing table. For Christmas, my older brother and his wife gave me a beautiful sewing box full of sewing goodies. The box looks like an old fashioned singer sewing machine from the turn of the 20th century! That's gracing my small desk.

The porch, being a porch is surrounded by windows on two sides. (the third side has a closet and the forth side is against the house) I covered those with muslin curtains for privacy. They also let in the light and make the space really cozy.

It is winter here, so I have a space heater in there.

The porch is going to double as a green house of sorts come spring, so there'll be plenty of little green buds growing.

Now, what about customers? None yet, but the Lord will provide in due time.

ladyscott

Groceries on a prayer

Lady of Virtue at www.ladyofvirtue.blogspot.com has a post up now about how she feeds 12 people 3 square meals a day. What an awesome post! I can't imagine cooking for that many people! I mean, most of us don't even have dinner parties that big! :)

She writes how she can do this and do it affordably thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ. I had to smile because I make it a practice to pray before I grocery shop. I've taken to tithing with the grocery money hubby provides, and I pray thanks to the Lord for his provisions and that I use the money wisely and get what I need for the week with it.

I did this just yesterday and not only did I get what I needed for the week, but God provided me with enough left over for a treat for hubby, deli lunch meat! I was also able to get a package of strawberries! What a blessing!

Sometimes, when I'm in the grocery store, I see others pushing around carts full of goodies. They have name brands, snacks and soda, or expensive cuts of meat. I really feel down when I see people load up on fresh fruits and veggies, while I carefully weigh options and punch numbers in a little calculator and dig in the bottom of my purse to see if I have enough change to pay for my order, or if I have to put something back.

But I have to remind myself that my God shall provide all my needs, not all my wants. I also can't see more deeply in these people's lives. Is that a career mom who's children are at that time stuck in daycare? Her cart is loaded with expensive quick-meals and snacks for children as if she doesn't have enough time to be able to cook for them, yet she has to work to afford those expensive TV dinners and frozen pizzas. Is that a couple who's driving themselves deeper in debt because of a lack of a budget and just buying what they want? Is that someone who was blessed with a gift certificate and is taking full advantage of that blessing with thanksgiving? Is that someone who has to feed a lot of people and therefore has a higher grocery budget than I do? Is that someone from the mountains who only grocery shops once a month and that's why their cart is full?

I must keep my eyes on my own cart and my own blessings. I am thankful!

I also pray before I drive anywhere. I pray for protection and good gas mileage.

ladyscott

Monday, January 02, 2006

Odd place to remember blessings....

Soap and shampoo....

I was in the shower last night and looked up at the many bottles of shampoo, the bottle of bodywash, and hubby's bar of Irish Spring Soap and I realized just how blessed I am! I could have laughed out loud!

Many people see hubby and I as lacking, perhaps even borderline poor. After all, we don't subscribe to TV and we have a strict budget. People often offer us stuff, or say they'll give us a deal, or ask if we need any help. People even think that we'd be "better off" if I got a job too.

What they don't see are the overwhelming blessings we have and the overwhelming blessings we receive!! If we're so poor, then how come I have 3 different shampoos to choose from when I wash my hair. But I must be poor because I don't get my hair colored and styled. If we're so poor, then how come I have bodywash instead of an inexpensive bar of soap. But I must be poor because it's the generic brand, not the name brand. And goodness, we've GOT to be poor because all this is shoved into one bathroom! Don't you know the average American NEEDS at least 2 bathrooms!?

It's not about materialism and gain. It's about what God has given us. And even if we were legally poor, we'd still be blessed! BTW, I did grow up legally poor and any lacking I felt was in selfish materialism. Nothing more.

ladyscott

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Now let's see how many times I write "2005" instead of "2006!" :)

Do you see New Year as a new beginning? How about a new season? A new week? A new day?

I do. A chance to start again.

I'm so glad New Year starts on a Sunday this year. Although the snow falling now will probably prevent me from going to church, I do plan on a new beginning this year in my relationship with my Savior. I've been so lax and it isn't right. I don't mean a resolution. That's just a goal on a piece of paper pretty much meant to be broken. I mean a heart change, a new mind-set.

A new day, a new week, a new year, a new life growing inside me, and a renewed relationship with my Savior and King! This IS a Happy New Year!

ladyscott

World of Insomnia

It's 3am. Do you know where your pregnant lady is?

It's funny that now I need a nighttime feeding. At 2am, I was ready for a small meal. It's been that way with my insomnia lately. The need to use the bathroom and hunger pangs wake me up. My brain keeps me up.

Since I can't sleep, I'm being productive. I'm working on my home management binder and I'm typing out recipes that I've collected on loose leaf paper. I'm making recipe cards to be organized in my recipe card organizer. What a concept! ;)

I do a lot of computer stuff because our house is so small that I can't make a lot of noise, or it'll wake hubby. My mom's been suffering from insomnia, too, but she uses the time to clean house. Besides, I prefer to sit still and calm in hopes of returning to sleep shortly.

The only problem is I wonder if I'm contributing to my insomnia by being so productive. Before I went to bed last night, I actually hoped and planned for insomnia so I could get more work done on the computer! *shrugs* Well, it's not hurting me any.

ladyscott