Monday, January 29, 2007

Ugh, Hmmm, and Yay!

UGH!! My electric bill went up again! I thought I was being careful, but it is WAY over budget this month. I've been replacing bulbs with florescent ones, turning off lights, unplugging appliances, and trying to harness the sun's rays. I think a major issues is the outdoor furnace. Since we're saving on heating fuel costs, we've kept the thermostat way up. Now, I'm turning it down in hopes to get back under budget. Any other ideas?

Hmmmm..... My husband told me that his GF (general foreman) paid me a compliment. He said that I keep a very organized home and that if his home was more organized, maybe his marriage wouldn't have ended in divorce. What a thought! It is true that when a home is in disarray, it can cause added stress and anxiety in the home which isn't good for anyone. It does take a lot of discipline to maintain organization in the home.

It also takes a joyful heart. Here's what I mean. Have you ever asked someone to do something for you and they do it, but grumble about it the whole time? It doesn't make you feel good, does it? You feel bad for asking them. You may feel resentful that they weren't joyful about it. Their grumbling just creates a sour atmosphere. Cleaning my house with a joyful heart fills my home with joy. Hubby can sense that when he gets home. It lifts his spirits when he asks me to do something and I do it joyfully for him. He feels good, and I feel good.

I'm not just the preacher on this message. I'm the congregation, too, because lately I've been feeling a bit resentful and "grumbly" about some household chores. Let's all try to do better, shall we?

Yay!!!! I made my goal weight!! I'm 125 lbs! If you missed my previous posts, after I gave birth to my son last March, I decided to get down to my pre-baby weight (130 lbs) and hopefully get down to my goal weight (125 lbs) before I get pregnant again. Those last 5 lbs were the hardest. I would like to drop 5 more lbs now just to be even more ahead of the game. (Keep in mind that I am petite and small-boned. My healthy weight scale is 110-130. Yours may be different).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Saving Stew, Changes

Last week, I thought I'd make one of hubby's favorite dishes on a cold winter evening....beef stew. Unfortunately, I went a little crazy with the pepper and ruined it. It was unpalatable. So, I tried doubling the broth and veggies to water down the pepper. It didn't work. Throwing it away seemed such a waste. Besides, I'm on a strict dinner menu and have run out of grocery money for the month, so I couldn't substitute. I had to make do. Praise God, I found a solution. I dumped the stew into a collander, removing all the broth. I then dumped the bulk into a greased casserole with a can of cream of mushroom soup only 50% dilluted with milk and topped it with a buiscut recipe rolled out like a pie crust. I cut a few slits to let steam escape and baked it until golden brown. Now, it wasn't a culinary masterpiece, but it was good and I didn't waste dinner.

Bubby is going through some changes. He's now 10 months old. Since his 10 month birthday, he's been having afternoon meltdowns. I discovered that he was hungry. I really didn't want to get my son into a habit of snacking, but his lunchtimes moved earlier and dinner moved a touch later. Usually a bottle suffices, but now he wants finger foods. So, he gets an afternoon snack. That worked until he became overtired. Yesterday, he didn't want to take an afternoon nap. Today, he doesn't want to take any naps. He also doesn't want to take a bottle anymore, but hates sippy cups and dumps uncapped cups. What he likes to do is drink from water bottles like mommy and daddy.

All in all, my little man is growing up. Although this is a difficult stage right now, I'm enjoying motherhood and watching his changes. I'm learning to love adjusting to how he changes. Although, last night's lack of sleep has taken it's toll. :)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Re-enacting pictures

There was a request to see re-enacting photos. You can see them at:

www.coloniallivinghistory.org That's the group we belong to. They have a photo section.

Violence, Taking Gardening Seriously

I had a thought today.....Hollywood touts that they are against violence, particularly the violence in Iraq. Yet, Hollywood continually churns out very violent movies. I'm not talking about historical movies like Band of Brothers and Master and Commander. I don't believe in watered-down history. I'm talking about blood and guts horror movies, movies with mindless violence, the "coolness" of gang violence/street violence.... The good guy doesn't always win anymore. And most of the time you're not even sure who the good guy is. Or the good guy is a bad guy who's fighting another bad guy.

What goes in must come out. The Bible says "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." There have been scientific and sociological studies about violence reaping violence. Of course, Hollywood alone isn't responsible for how people act. We are responsible for how WE act. However, perhaps if the anti-violence Hollywood practiced what they preached, there might not be so much violence.....

PS...I'm not a pacifist. I believe in fighting back when necessary.

On a lighter note....I'm taking gardening very seriously this year. Something tells me that I'm going to need as much produce as I can...well...produce. With the California crops ruined, weird weather everywhere, and rising prices on everything, that little garden of mine is going to be a real blessing. Even last year, my husband was after me to do as much as I could with my little garden patch. I was bogged down with a new baby and gave into my laziness, so much of it went to waste. Well, not this year.

I'm planning a 13' by 26' garden. I'm going to plant as much as I can in it without crowding. Beans, squashes, cukes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, carrots, parsnips, peas, turnips, early greens, perhaps onions and huckleberries. In the hedgerow, I've cleared a spot for pumpkins and gourds to sell in the fall.

I'm also redoing my strawberry patch and hubby wants an asparagus patch. I'd also like to find a spot for bush cherries, blueberries, currants, and rhubarb.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Growing up too fast; Thanking who?

You know how you hear people saying how children grow up so fast? They mature so quickly. They handle adult issues so soon. My observation is that they aren't turning into adults sooner....they're growing into KIDULTS. My hope and prayer is that I can preserve my children's childhoods while at the same time teaching them to grow into ADULTS. If the Lord tarry's, they'll have enough kidults to deal with.

While thanking God for something He provided for me, a non-Christian pointed this out to me. "You Christians always thank God but never seem to thank the person God worked through to give you that blessing." So, lets make sure that the next time we get a blessing, we thank God and those God worked through. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Blessing, Wisdom, Modesty, Feminine Influences

My wonderful husband bought me a new vacuum! My old one threw sparks out at me, so I refused to run it for fear of my life. So, hubby bought me a new vacuum and it's wonderful! It even has a self-cleaning duster attachment! Hubby appreciates the hepa filter. I enjoy having a vacuum that actually does it's job. Oh, and my other favorite attachment is the special adjustable upholstery and stairs doo-hickey with it's own rotating brush. It's great for dog hair.

I recently had my 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed. Hubby teased me that I was going to lose my wisdom, but I actually gained some! While I was in dreadful pain and recovering, I had to eat VERY carefully. During this time I learned that:
1. I eat when I'm not hungry...not a good habit to get into.
2. I eat too fast and don't savor my food. Therefore, I tend to eat a bit more so as to enjoy the flavor.
3. I put food in my mouth when I'm still chewing the first portion I put in. Blech...what a poor habit!

This has been something on my mind for many a year. It's something most people do without thinking about it, but every time I do it, I feel a twinge of conviction. It's shedding layers in front of a man. There are times I'll wear a cardigan or sweater over a blouse or other shirt. When I got hot, I would naturally shed a layer. This seems harmless enough, but I realized that for some men, watching a woman remove a layer is very sexy - even if she's fully dressed underneathe. Now, I'm not talking about overcoats because that's just going way too far and being silly. And I'm not saying we need to run to the restroom every time we want to remove a cardigan. I'm just saying to be a little more careful and descreet about it. I think this came about in my life because there was a married man in my circle of acquaintences who was(is) struggling with pornography and a bosom-addiction. (He talks to women's chests) If I was in his presence and removed an outter layer (like a cardigan or sweater over a turtleneck), he would watch with wolf-eyes. Now, we could say that it was his problem, not mine, and that's true. However, it did occur to me in this extreme circumstance that slipping out of a cardigan can be just as teasingly provactive as slipping out of the blouse underneathe in the eyes of some men.

Some of you may think I'm just being crazy or too careful. Some may even think I'm being extreme and blaming women and not the men with the problem when I'm not! Men are responsible for their own actions and thoughts. It's just simply and observation, thought and conviction on my part that I'm freely sharing with you. Take it or leave it.

Feminine Influences in my life:
1. My maternal Grandmother - Godly woman full of grace; Never complains, brags, or points out the bad in others; Always has a smile on her face, even in the tough times; Takes care of her ill husband and little home efficeintly so as to have extra to give.

2. Helen Harriot (as played by Carol Drinkwater in All Creatures Great and Small) - Always feminine in dress, stature, and character...even in pants; Supports her husband in a difficult, time-consuming and low-paying job without complaint or a "what about my needs" attitude; helps with the vet practice's books, but never expected pay...just did it because it helped out her husband and his friends; Even when angry or disagrees with her husband, she peacefully voices her thoughts and then keeps mum, defering to her husband and never staying angry.

Why I want to homeschool Reason #8

The silencing of Christian and Right-wing voices.

We have a local case where a 13 year old student was protesting abortion and was made to stop. He was following school rules to a T (protests and stances are allowed during non-classroom time and must not be disruptive or explicit). His mother even called the school ahead of time to let them know he was doing this. They gave no opposition at the time of the call. He wore a T-shirt stating abortion facts, passed out pamphlets that listed what happens during the stages of development of a fetus, and more abortion facts. He also wore tape over his mouth to symbolize how we've silenced so many voices that never had a chance to speak. The student was seized, made to turn his t-shirt inside out, told to stop his activism and the student body was told to throw away the pamphlets and not read them. It is fairly obvious that he was targeted for his beliefs because other similar activisims were allowed (gay rights, diversity, etc).

The Alliance Defense Fund spoke on the radio about how some schools are even teaming up with certain political and social groups (he used the example of one school supporting gay rights). These groups come in and pass out literature, have seminars, and encourage students to be activists within the schools. However, students who oppose peacefully (the example was a student who wore t-shirt expressing his views that homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God) are silenced.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

First post of the year!

I'm sorry I've been absent, dear readers. Life has just been so busy for the holidays...the usual stuff. Plus, every time I get a chance to get on-line, it's only a small chance that's easily interrupted. So, I've had no chance to really blog.

Christmas was lovely this year. Hubby, Spike and I were really blessed by the gifts we received. Hubby got me the entire Bible on CD! Nothing replaces actually reading the Bible which I am doing, but hearing it read is something special, too. It's also great to help me stay exposed to the Truth more often.

I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth removed. It still hurts. What an ordeal that was, but I'm healing well. They knocked me out cold for an hour....removed the teeth and sent me on my way with a perscription for hydrocodone. I never took any. I was in pain enough to need it, but I was too afraid of what it might do. I have a baby to care for! Hubby works and couldn't get time off, but he was a wonderful help when he was able to be home.

I realized at the first of this year that hubby and I are better off this year than we were last year. Granted, our debt is higher, but overall, things are better. We're healthier, happier, and in a better position for success. I look forward to this year. I'm also much more productive than I was before. I'm less likely to procrastinate and laze about. My faith and trust in God is stronger.

I'm even cleaning my kitchen floor daily! Which leads me to my poll: Do you mop your kitchen floors or clean them Cinderella-style on your hands and knees?

What do you use to clean your kitchen floors with?

How often do you clean your kitchen floors?

Do you have a rug in front of your sink or stove?

My answers: Cinderella, dishsoap and water, daily, no

God bless your new year!