Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Porch and Responsible Behavior

Well, I made up my porch today and it didn't cost me one red cent! I found some boards in the shed and some screws in the drawer and put them together. (I used power tools!) This made the top of the window seat. For the "legs," I solved a storage problem and made this window seat! Supporting the top of the seat are 3 sturdy plastic tubs that hold my clothing. One is Maternity clothes. One is early maternity/post partum clothes and the other holds my winter clothes. Now they're not taking up way too much space in what few closet spaces I have.
To cushion the body at rest, I had foam cusions that were on the rope bed that once took up almost all the space in the porch. Those fit in just fine. Then, I used a down comforter folded in half and placed that on top. Because hubby is of Scottish decent, we're constantly being given tartan wool and fleece blankets, so that's what I threw on top.
To mask the boxes and the magazine storage under the bed (I have quite the magazine collection) I dug through my fabric boxes in the basement and found one of hubby's old kilts that was depleated. That made a great bed skirt!
Now, hubby and I have a perfect place to relax and nap and read! Bubby has a sweet little spot to play in. (He loves it out there!)
I can't wait to show hubby.
My second thought for today's post has to do with responsible GODLY behavior for parents of very young children. I got to thinking that as Christians, we get our peace, love and joy from the Lord. Babies and toddlers and young children don't know the Lord yet. They need to get their peace, love and joy from us! WOAH! I am responsible for my son's peace, love and joy!
So that got me thinking how I, as a Christian mom can do that for my son. Pray, of course, but also take action.
Take action to create a peaceful environment. I can't do that with violent, erratic TV, loud music, messes and an angry disposition. I need to create a peaceful home and a peaceful countenance and attitude. When I do just that, my son calms right down.
Don't believe me? Have you ever let your child watch a loud, commercial-filled action-packed TV cartoon only to have him shouting and bouncing off the sofa? Have you ever tried to stop your infant from crying only to yell at her or tell her sternly to be quiet only to have her cry more? BINGO!
Take action to create a loving environment. I can't do that with scoffs and dismissals and "not now, I'm busy." I need to hug, kiss, enjoy and spend time with my son. When I do this, he is so loving back and listens and minds his behavior better.
Take action to create a joyful environment. I can't do that when I lose my temper, stomp around the house, and spread my stress from corner to corner or keep things bleak. I need to smile, dance, laugh, tickle and be tickled, praise, sing and most importantly WORSHIP MY LOVING SAVIOR! When I do this, my son is happy. My joy rubs off on him. And his joy rubs back off on me! Baby smiles are so infectious!
When I do these things to portray the gifts my loving Savior has given to me, I help my children grow and learn and understand these gifts when it comes time from them to accept Christ into their lives and receive these gifts straight from Him.
What a responsibility to have!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Porch Re-do

Hubby likes the window seat idea for our enclosed porch. Above is a rough idea of what I might do for it. The window seat is the big dark red rectangle. I'd like a window seat wide enough to comfortably curl up with Bubby or a nursing infant. Under the seat will be storage for my magazine collections. I have a rather large amount of Victoria, Country Living, Cottage Living, Colonial Homes, and Reiman Publication magazines.
The pink rectangle will be a long, narrow toybox for Bubby. The porch doubles as a great playroom.
The orange square is a small gaming table hubby and I have. The blue rectangle next to it is Bubby's little chair. The table and chair together are perfect for his small size.
The green circle is for my milk cans that hold seed for my winter bird friends.
I might put my rocking chair out there. Right now it's in the master bedroom and doesn't quite fit in right.
When God blesses us with another child, the porch is going to turn into the crying room. I'm the one who gets up for Bubby 99% of the time because hubby truly needs as much sleep as he can get. His job is so physically demanding and dangerous, a tired husband could mean a dead one. However, a screaming baby can keep the whole house up...not just mommy. So, the porch is a perfect spot to soothe a sobbing infant. I intend to make it a haven for my little family.
Thankfully, my father eagerly volunteered to build the window seat for hubby and I.

Bubby at a Local Re-Enactment

He climbed that chair all by himself and made it back to the ground safely on his own. He's very strong and is a very good climber. Notice one shoe off? He took it off himself and decided this was the way to go.
Bubby's first taste of candy. I let him lick a little and he bit off a little piece. Candy is a rarity in our house. I don't tolerate sugar very well, and none of us can eat chocolate. He liked this, but was very good about mommy taking it away.

Friday, July 27, 2007


It was a muggy one today. Still, I managed to make it through most of the day without turning on the AC. I have this thing about my electric bill. I hate it when it's higher than budget. Thankfully, it's been nearly $20.00 below budget lately. Winter will of course raise it again. While the outdoor furnace nearly eliminates the need for the oil, it does cost a bit in electric to run. Still, the overall savings (and comfort) is unbeatable.

I dislike unfocused days. Today was one of them. Things got off routine and my new web-based business had some business. Also, rather last minute, we had a guest. I felt like I spent most of the day following my son around, cleaning up his messes and scolding him for getting into everything he shouldn't.

I did manage laundry, bathroom cleaning, vacuuming, kitchen floor washing, a walk up to the farm with Bubby to visit the animals, a bit of gardening (1 zucchini, 2 peas, 3 peppers), new business updates, customer e-mails and flyers to print out, recipe organization, some more of the dining room wall accent painted, and a bit of tidying up.

Tomorrow's main chores are painting a wooden chest and putting up Pomegranate Jelly.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Who Was More Christ-Like

It was below zero. The wind was whipping and snow falling and a young lady had accidentally locked her keys in her car. She had to wait for her rescue in the dangerously frigid temperatures in a public parking lot.

Meanwhile, a family piles into their car. The father and son were well dressed. The mother and daughters were wearing long denim skirts and had their long hair neatly pulled back. They didn't smile much and avoided eye contact. The father kept glancing at the young lady and eventually maneouvered the car over to her. He gave the young lady a half-smile and asked if she locked her keys in the car. She embarrassingly confirmed that she did and that she was freezing, but that her father in law was coming to rescue her in about 15 minutes. He then hands her a "Chick Tract." She politely refuses saying that she's in fact a born again Christian. He didn't seem impressed or happy (perhaps it was her denim jeans) and re-issued the tract and told her it'll give her something to read while she waits. He drives away without another word. The wife never looked at the young lady and appeared angry.

Shivering until her bones rattled, the young lady stands mystified at these professing Christians...these brothers and sisters in Christ. Soon another vehicle pulls up. It was a middle-aged man and his wife, typical American with a hint of redneck. Probably Christmas and Easter church-goers. They had just witnessed what went on between the young lady and the man and his family. He couldn't believe they just took off like that. Both husband and wife gave the young lady full eye contact and were quite concerned for her well-being. They offered her the cell phone. She explained that she had already made a call. They offered to run across the busy highway to buy her a hot chocolate to keep her warm. She had to politely refuse because she can't drink caffinated beverages. They suggested she wait in the store until her ride came. She assured them the ride would be there any minute. They made sure she was ok and that there was nothing they could do for her before they reluctantly drove away.

Who was more Christ-like?

The story above is true. The young lady was me. It was once told to me that Christians are hypocrates because you'll find more Christ-like behavior among non-Christians. I have to say that in my experience, this is true! Frighteningly true! It certainly has me thinking about how I behave towards my fellow human being.

I think that if I wasn't saved, it wouldn't have been the family with the Chick Tract that witnessed Christ's love to me. It would have been the husband and wife who went out of their way to make sure I was ok and had all I needed before they drove away.

I think sometimes as Christians we jump at a witnessing opportunity and forget that we should be witnessing continually in what we do and help our fellow man. Actions speak louder than words and often actions are the bigger witness than any words we may speak. A Christian isn't a Christian by what he says. It's about what he does.

New Diet, Earning $, Organization

I'm really liking this Nourishing Traditions book and diet. Whenever I mention diet to hubby, it's kind of a prompt word for him to not like what I'm going to say. This time around, as I read off the recipes and the marginal information, he's interested. Especially since it reiterates what he's believed all along about nutrition and diets, save one thing....he's still gotta eat more veggies! Don't we all! I've started working on the suggestions, but it's the end of the month and groceries aren't bought until the first week of the month. August is my trial and error month for this. If I feel and see improvements in hubby and I, then I'm going to alter our nutritional lifestyle to it. If it just makes us fat and sluggish (like some naysayers in my circle believe), then I'll quit it. Of course, if I get pregnant in the meantime, it's going to be hard to stick to any kind of nutrition when I'm nauseated.

My first customer for my new business called yesterday! I'm so excited, and VERY nervous. I'm so afraid this is all wrong and just going to bite me in the backside. He thought it was a great idea and so has a couple other people. It just has to take off, that all. I just want to make a little extra money so I can pay off that stinkin' credit card. My goal is to make $30.00 a week.

I had to hit Walmart today because hubby needed a new pair of jeans to replace the pair that had a blow-out. Thankfully, he has funds set aside for stuff like that. I had a few bucks left over from my pressure canner purchase (garage sale earnings), so I bought some stiff paper (like oaktag), a binder and some pretty dividers so I can FINALLY organize my chaotic clipped out recipes. I'm excited about that, too. I'm going to make a cover for the binder, too. I'll post it when I finally get around to making it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wasted Time

I'm really good at wasting time. Procrastination and laziness are two sins I continually fight against. Thankfully, God has forgiven me and helped me to not procrastinate and be lazy lately. But, I have been thinking about years in my life that were wasted due to unhealthly and selfish levels of desires and wants that took my focus away from His work.

The first few years were my late teen and very early twenty years. I was out of school, unmarried, and either had jobs I hated or no job at all. I wallowed in depression, gained weight, felt miserable and generally viewed my life as worthless. Why? I wanted to get married. I was upset that I didn't marry straight out of high school and didn't have 2 children on hips and more to come.

Now, it's very beautiful and even Biblical to want to get married and have children. What's selfish is the lack of trust in God for His timing and the wasted time.

I want every young, unmarried woman to read this and fully understand that they should not waste their time. This is the PERFECT time in their lives to extend themselves spiritually, economically, socially, physically, creatively and helpfully.

This is a great time in your life to grow in the Lord and do His work. Perhaps you could enter into a ministry, be it teaching a class, helping out in nursery, volunteering at a soup kitchen, making quilts for Project Linus, etc. Many women, once married and having babies don't have time or energy for ministries other than the ministry of their family. I know many a mom who wishes she could do a ministry, but that's not God's plan for their lives right now. Motherhood is.

Economically, it's a great time to work and save money. Start a nest egg, a hope chest, and generally plan for your future financially. I wish I wasn't so stinkin' selfish and worked harder to earn and save money before I got married. I should NOT have entered into my marriage with debts. I should have entered with savings that would help keep us out of debts. Take a lesson hard learned out of my book and use your unmarried time to save up.

Socially, enjoy your friends. Go to the church picnic. Talk about the old times with the elderly. Spend some time helping out the busy mother with her child(ren). Get out among the people. I was practically a hermit during my unmarried time. Consequently, when I did meet the man I married, I clung to him so much that I nearly lost him. Get out among the people!

Physically, don't do what I did and gain weight in sleepy self-pity. This is a great time to get and keep yourself healthy and strong. Men love a woman who's feminine, yet strong. Not only does it keep you young and attractive, it'll help sustain you for when you do get married and pregnant.

Creatively, learn new skills. Work on projects. Come up with at-home business ideas in case you need to start one after marriage, or if God delays marriage in your life.

Finally, be a help at home. Give your mom a break and clean for her. (It's good practice for married life, anyway). Like I said before, help out the new mother. Be the one to stay after church to help clean up.

My other wasted time was the first 4 years of my marriage. I wasted time angrily wanting to have children and deceptively trying to get my husband to agree. I legalistically refused to work outside the home and subsequently, my at-home business failed and drove us into $6,000 in debt that we're still trying to pay off. I could have spent that time earning and saving, creating and helping, and building up rather than tearing down.

Thankfully, God has forgiven me and my husband loves me more than ever. However, like the story goes, even the removed nail (sin) leaves a mark. If I had it to do all over, I'd do it so much more differently. All I can do now is encourage other young ladies to not repeat my mistakes.

Don't waste your time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Welcome to Boyhood...Population One

Who knew raising a toddler boy who's definately all boy would be such a challenge? He's not overly hyperactive. He's just this little eddy that goes about the house exploring, messing, creating, inventing and otherwise getting into little bits of mischief. 99% of it isn't intentional misbehavior. It's just typical curious toddlerhood mixed with the high energy and hands-on desires of a boy.

He's an outdoorsmen, too. I can't keep him occupied on one thing for more than a minute in the house. If I take him outdoors, he'll occupy himself for a solid hour or more. I usually run out of outdoor chores before he's done having a grand ol' time with sticks, rocks, grass and dirt. I tease that I know he has a good time when he's tired, filthy, scratched up and poops sand.

He loves the farm. I can probably be assured that as I tend to future young'uns, he'll be occupied and well taken care of at the farm.

Raising a boy is hard and everyone says raising girls is harder! Of course, the love and joy I get in return is far greater than the hardships. If this is torture, chain me to the wall!!

In other news....I researched almond and rice milks and found that the high sugar contents of them are not recommended for young children.

I'm also enjoying Nourishing Traditions. I have one question, though. In all the examples that the author gives, she points out cultures (both current and historic) that ate diets similar to the one she's discussing. All these cultures have one thing in common. Exertion. They're all people who aren't desk jockeys and couch potatoes. Is this a reason why the higher-fat diet works so well, because it's mixed with constant daily exercise and high manual labor? Would her recommendations work on someone who spends 8-12 hours a day chained to a desk only to come home and veg out in front of the TV before slinking off to bed? Would this diet work for the average American?

Monday, July 23, 2007


Well, today was all off routine because I had to get my brakes, roaters and tires done. I did manage to stop by the library and pick up a copy of Nourishing Traditions. Candy, at www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com follows it and has blogged about it. I like what it says because it hits on something I've always instinctively felt about foods. Also, it's a diet that I believe will benefit my hard-working, manual labor hubby. So, I am considering trying out this diet.

I'm also considering two of the at-home business ideas that I have. The problem is that they are web-based and where I live I can't get DSL yet. Road Runner is WAY out of my price range, so I suffer with dial-up and I can't work on complicated websites from my home computer. I'm going to leave it in prayer. For now, something is holding me back.

I'm also considering other ways to save money. Then again, I'm always considering ways to save money, make money, etc.

I'm considering trying to cloth diaper my son when we're at home. He doesn't go to the bathroom as much as he did when he was on a highly liquid diet. It might actually work to cloth diaper him. My goal is for one big box of diapers to last me 2 months. My other goal is for one big box of wipes to last 2 months.

I'm also considering taking him off formula (he has a bottle just before bed) and trying out rice milk and almond milk. Cows milk is what he has during the day. I might try goats milk, though, too. I can get raw goats milk just down the road from me, but I'll start with the store stuff first. If none of it works, he's old enough now to be just on cows milk. Cows milk doesn't have all the vitamins and minerals I'm looking for, though.

Well, considering the time, I best be off.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Best Face Forward

Apparently, women who wear make-up daily can absorb 5 lbs of cosmetic chemicals per year!

Parabens, found in some cosmetics and I believe anti-persperants have been found in breast tumors.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a known skin irritant and is often found in soaps and shampoos.

Using multiple cosmetics can cause "chemical warfare" on your skin and in your body. Companies don't test their products with products from another company.

I've recently started cutting back on my cosmetic use. When I was a teenager, I was mostly a foundation girl because of my acne. When I started working, I went all out with make-up. Then, after I got married, I cut it back to foundation and blush. After a few years of marriage, and a pregnancy that helped clear my skin, I cut back my make-up use a little more. When mineral make-up became popular, I used that more. Now, I avoid make-up on days I'm home and usually only wear the mineral powder. Occassionally, I go all out with my make-up.

As for soaps, I'm considering switching to Scottish Lye Soap made the old-fashioned way in a cast iron pot that's more than 200 years old. The link is on this page.

I still haven't tried the baking soda and cider vinegar treatment to replace shampoo. Maybe I will this week and let you know how it works. I still love that witch hazel and bag balm, though.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mothers...the original multi-taskers!

I am a notorious multi-tasker. I think you have to be when you're a mother. I'm always trying to find ways to fit more things into a day without going crazy. It's gotten to the point where just doing one thing is relaxing and even a little strange.

When I exercise, I watch the news. When I watch TV (hubby and I get one channel, FOX, so we watch So You Think You Can Dance), I like to do a crossword puzzle or some hand-sewing. When my computer loads, I fold laundry. When my son needs to burn some energy, we go outside. He plays and I weed and do yard work. He usually ends up helping me. Often, I have two web browsers going on at once on my computer. While one's loading, I'm working on another one.

I don't know how I do it. I also don't know how I'm managing being the first one up, the last one to bed and keeping up with a hyperactive dog and a toddler who's full of energy (mostly kinetic). By the grace of God is my only answer. But I wouldn't trade this for anything! I like that I'm busy. I like that I'm organized (for the most part). I like that I can get things done. I get more done now than I ever did in my first 4 years of marriage.

Who says SAHM don't have any job skills!?

Thursday, July 19, 2007


I quote the great Charlie Brown on this one, "UGH!"

A simple oil change turned into really bad news. My truck is no longer drive-able until I get 4 new tires, 4 new roaters and 4 new brakes. Now, before you think I'm being fed skulduggery from my mechanic, please understand that my mechanic is a good friend and has never swindled us, nor would he. He's right and sadly so. That's a lot of money to dish out and I dread putting anything on the credit card.

And hubby and I were doing so well, too! Money in the bank, money saved up....even our coin jars were looking so full.....Poof...gone!

I know, I know, we shouldn't value earthly things and we can't take it with us, etc and so forth. But, it really is disappointing to be trying to get out of debt and not live hand to mouth and have it all just ripped away.

I know, I know, I need to trust in the Lord, and I do, but human emotions are still there. It's hard to be all daisies and sunshine with news like this. I want to do two things: 1. bang my head against the wall 2. re-evaluate our finances and look into a home-business again.

I'm exhausted. I need to lay down. My son FINALLY went down for a nap, so I think I'll join him and the sandman.

*sigh* I'm so glad I have God. He always gets me through these tough times. Praise Him!!

Foggy Day, Busy Day

This is exactly where I'd like to be now. In my bed! But, I have a busy day today and a head start on it, too, so I'm taking advantage of that.

Sometimes, I like foggy mornings. I feel all wrapped up and cozy. I particularly like them in the autumn when the leaves are all changed and the air is cool. Still, nothing beats and beautiful, sunshiny morning.

I wanted to share some unlikely cosmetics. My shin skin is rather sensative. It's prone to razor burn. Most lotions negatively react to that skin and cause burning and rashes. Shaving alone can cause issues, too. So, I've been desperate the soothe, soften and heal the skin on my shins and knee caps. I started a routine of unlikely cosmetics that's working great!

After I shave (every other day), I wipe the shin and knee areas down with witch hazel. Witch hazel is an anti-inflammatory which helps keep redness and inflamation down. In my opinion, witch hazel is the best toner out there if you have inflamation-prone skin. Then, I gently, in a downward motion, rub vitamin E oil (pharmacy department at Walmart) into my shins and knees. Before bed, I rub the same way Bag Balm into my shins and knees. That's right, Bag Balm. This stuff is my all-purpose miracle balm. I put it on my cuts, rashes, scrapes and blisters and the pain goes away and the healing seems to speed up. It's a great moisturizer. In the wintertime, I rub it on my hands and wear gloves to bed. It's great stuff! You can get it in the pet department at Walmart.

Continuing....on my non-shaving days, I do the same routine, but I'll skip the witch hazel if the inflammation and redness is hardly there. My skin looks so much better. It feels better, and shaving is easier.

The only commercial lotion on the market that I can put on my shin skin without reaction is Burts Bees Milk and Honey.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Saving a Little $

I thought of a keen little way to save a little extra money. Hubby and I have enough stashed away to pay our 6 month auto insurance premium straight out. If I do this, but keep to the monthly auto insurance budget but just stash that away for the next 6 month payment, I'll save just over $100.00 a year on fees and wise budgeting!

Hmmm...wonder where else I can save money?

Take it easy....

www.allposters.com Sweet Rest by Daeni Pino

Today, I think I'll take it easy. I've been enjoying a go-go-go lifestyle lately of getting things done and organized. However, it's been harder and harder to get up in the morning and Bubby. It's a rainy day, so Bubby and I can't go outside. This'll be a perfect opportunity for me to relax and play with him.

Still, there are chores to do, but I don't have much on my list. Mending is the major project for today and I did half of it yesterday! I also have to go through the finances, prepare for tomorrow's errand day and I'd like to tidy up the master bedroom now that it's empty of boxes of stuff I put out for the garage sale.
As I've been reading God's Word, I'm coming to understand Him more and what His plans are and desire are for us. I'd love to blog about them, but I can't seem to get them into words. It's like this inner understanding that I can reckon, but can't express. Perhaps that's His way of holding me back until I'm ready to minister it or until He wants me to minister it. I'll keep it in prayer. At the same time, I don't want to hold back any ministry.
Speaking of ministry.....I grew up in a church that always emphasized that a Christian needs a ministry and it's not a ministry until you're doing something for the church. Needless to say, they broke a lot of hearts and made many people angry. Still, there is this emphasis in the AG church to have a ministry. Thankfully, my church recognizes that ministries don't have to particularly be big and boastful. Still, I have that "I need a ministry" in the back of my mind. I almost feel like it's wrong to spend time weeding my garden, or making sure my house is tidy, or getting all my chores done in a timely manner, or staying home in the evenings. I almost feel I should be using my time to be out winning souls. Then I remember, I DO have a ministry. My ministry is right here in my home. I have a husband who needs me here and a child who needs Christian rearing. God's work is in the work of the home. God's work is in weeding my garden and caring for my family. I have two souls at home that need Christ. I have two other souls in my extended family who I see often who need Christ. I have a slew of friends who need witnessing and I'm the one to do it. So I'm not out in a nursing home, or at a soup kitchen. That's not where God has me. God has me at this point in my life at home where I belong and I should not be worried about it.
God needs me home, studying His Word, praying and growing as a Christian so I can be a witness to those around me who need Christ. I don't have to "go to a ministry." God sent one to me.
Still, I am looking into charitable efforts I can do from home, like the Linus Project.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Just Random Stuff

Just before bedtime yesterday I discovered my dog peed on hubby's side of the bed. Thankfully, it didn't get to the mattress, but everything else had to come off, including a brand new set of sheets. Thank God it's another beautiful day today so I can launder them and hang them out to dry. My solution is, I'm going to put up a baby gate. The dog and the baby seem to think they have free range in the master bedroom. Both often go in there to play and get into things they shouldn't. I'd shut the door, but I enjoy the light the pours into the bedroom and it's the only room in the house that has windows capable of holding an air conditioner.

It's going to be nice to check off "pressure canner" on the list of things I'd like to get for the house. Dehumidifier is another one as well as a hutch or sideboard for the kitchen. I saw this neat organizational thing where you drill a hole in the back of a drawer in a desk or sideboard and wire a surge protected power strip into the drawer. The drawer is then turned into a "refueling station" for things like cell phones, iPods, etc. I'm rather frustrated with juggling cords and balancing the phone and iPod on the little hutch I have in the kitchen currently. I'd move stuff, but that's where hubby chose to "refuel" and I dare not move anything. I'm looking at www.countrydoor.com for something to purchase that'll work. My kitchen is narrow, so I have to get something that's no more than 13" deep.

The wood is starting to pile up for our outdoor furnance. My harvest has begun. The last of the spinach and turnips are coming in as the start of roma and cherry tomatoes and green sweet peppers. Cukes and summer squash will begin in a couple of weeks. Beans are going to be really late this year since I didn't get them in until really late.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Benefits of Exercise and Trash Removal

www.allposters.com Willem Haenraets

Exercise has been something I've avoided most of my life. I was an active child, participated in gym class in school, played volleyball for a few years, and managed to stay thin most of my life, but regular exercise was something I just didn't always do. Now, I pretty much have to due to getting older and trying to keep my inner ear inflamation at bay so I don't end up in bed all day with a dizzy spell.

Now that I've been exercising more regularly, I feel stronger. I look stronger. I'm more toned. My clothes fit better. I feel like I breathe better. I don't feel stiff and achy. I sleep better. I even feel like I digest food better. My skin looks younger. My eyes look brighter. I feel more focused and organized throughout the day. I feel better about myself. I feel like I can keep up with things and my son more. I feel like I can take on stressful situations more easily. Exercise is wonderful! And this is all with just an active day and 15 minutes of aerobics early in the morning.

Today's Daily Bread reading was titled Taking Out the Trash. So, I've decided to apply that to today both figuratively and literally. I'm literally going to go through stuff to get rid of and throw away (tomorrow's garbage and recycling day so this is very timely) and I'm going to spend the day in reflection of my heart and lay my "garbage" at the cross for the Lord to forgive and take away.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I love where I live

It's so nice to be able to take a shower in the morning with the sun streaming into the bathroom window and being able to watch the deer grazing in the field next door. Ahhhhhh.......

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Garage Sale Success and feeling a little guilty

My garage sale was a success! Well....sort of. I made enough money to purchase a pressure canner from Walmart, but I still have a lot of junk left. I'm debating whether to have another sale at another location or just give it to a charity thrift shop.

In a totally unrelated subject, do you ever read someone else's blog or a ministry website or even get a comment to something you've posted that challenges what you say or do? Do you feel a little guilty, confused or like you could be doing things better? Do you stress that perhaps you should work harder to do things differently? I admit that sometimes I do. Then I realize that unless I feel a leading from the Lord or a nudge from my husband, then I should just stop stressing. And if I do feel that leading or nudge, I shouldn't stress, I should just do it in faith.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Special Trip

I got my errands done in the morning and stopped by my parents' house to drop of garage sale stuff and let my son nap. He didn't nap very long and was ready to go. Last minute, I decided to take him to the local zoo. We had a blast!! We both loved the gray wolf and Bubby really enjoyed the pygmy goats. My other favorites were the bear cubs and the white fallow deer buck in full velvet. Bubby liked the giraffes, too, but it was definately the wolf and the goats that made him laugh and squeal.

The wolf was something special. I have a soft spot in my heart for wolves. In fact, I looked into adopting a wolf hybrid at one point. Where I live, I'd have to put up a special kennel for them and get special insurance. I told hubby that if God decided to make me infertile, that I'd either adopt a wolf hybrid or open a rescue for bully breed dogs (pit bulls, AmStaffs, Staffies, Bull Terriers, Bull dogs, etc). Thankfully, I have my son, so my focus and love is on him and hopefully future children. In the meantime, we all enjoy our one and only AmStaff.

What's in my garden?

I'm just going to list what's in my vegetable garden plot from the top down.

Some dill that's not doing so hot
Roma tomatoes
Cherry tomato
Sweet green peppers
Kidney beans
Green beans
Spaghetti Squash
Zuchini or summer squash, I can't remember
Some other squash that I've forgotten what I planted

Oh, and weeds. I'm really good at growing those. I harvest them nearly every day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dinner and Soap

I just love trying new recipes. I'm constantly recycling cookbooks in and out of my kitchen as well as tightly holding on to my favorite cookbooks. Among them are:

Joy of Cooking
Betty Crocker
Better Homes and Gardens (the 1960's edition my mom has and that I started cooking with)
Good Housekeeping
Hannah Glasse (18th century)
American Cookbook (I think it's from the 1950's)
Fanny Farmer

Those are the big ones. I have specialty ones as well ranging from Celtic Cuisine to Amish to 1940's wartime to Campbells.

Tonight's dinner hailed from the Good Housekeeping cookbook. I pulled out some boneless lean pork from the freezer and really wanted to do something different with the pork. I knew I wanted brown rice with the pork, so I had to find something to go with rice.

It was down to two recipes: The pork chops with olive cream sauce or the Sorrento Pork. I went with the Sorrento Pork because I had a funny feeling the cream sauce wouldn't come out as planned and that recipe had to be broiled. My broiler smokes and it's too hot to turn on the oven.

The Sorrento Pork was a success! Here's how I made it:

Brown your pork
Add slices of green pepper
Stir in 1 cup tomato sauce (I used some marinara I had in the fridge)
Add chopped oregano (I got mine fresh from my garden, or you can use 1/2 tsp dry)
Add 1/2 a small can sliced mushrooms, drained (or all the mushrooms if you're a mushroom fanatic)

Simmer, covered on low for 30 minutes. Top with slices of mozerella cheese and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes.

I saved the juice and had enough mushrooms and green peppers left to add to the spaghetti sauce for tomorrow's spaghetti and meatballs.

I discovered a soap I'd like to try. It's Dalan 100% olive oil soap. According to the little order pamphet I received, it's supposed to be good as a laundry soap as well as a body soap. I make my own laundry detergent using Fels Naptha soap, but I've been considering trying other soaps like Scottish Lye soap and now this Dalan soap. Hmmmm.....

Monday, July 09, 2007

Booked for practically the rest of the month!

Today: House cleaning, laundry, put up plums, work on organizing and cleaning the basement.

Tuesday: Sewing day with my sister!

Wednesday: Going through everything I can think of in prep for the garage sale.

Thursday: Errands, make signs for garage sale, laundry, gardening

Friday: Garage sale!

Saturday: Garage sale!

Sunday: Church, visit In-laws!

Monday: Clean house, laundry

Tuesday: Sewing day with sister!

Wednesday: I'm going to attempt to make a window seat in the front porch.

Thursday: Errands, gardening

Friday: Laundry, sewing

Saturday: Open for whatever hubby wants to do

Sunday: Church!

Monday: House cleaning, laundry

Tuesday: Sewing day with sister!

Wednesday: Re-organization and tidying

Thursday: errands, gardening

Friday: house cleaning, laundry, sewing

Saturday: Re-enactment

Sunday: Church or re-enactment

Monday: Clean house, laundry, etc

Tuesday: Work on mud porch

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Weird....blogger won't let me put in titles to my posts. Anyhow, I just wanted to share this picture of my son. :)

Friday, July 06, 2007

How Ladyscott Gets Her Groove Back

Schedules don't work in the home. They work at work and in schools, but at home, they fly right out the window. As soon as things are running on schedule, a holiday happens, or an unexpected errands the unexpectedly takes three times as long as expect happens, or hubby unexpectedly shows up early from work, or your child unexpectedly gets the stomach bug, or an unexpected repair has to happen, etc. It goes on and on. For me, it's been nearly a month of one thing after another. Some expected, some not at all. Now that medical stuff is over with, the holiday is passed and I'm not heading for a re-enactment for a while, I look forward to getting my groove back....that is settling into a more predictable routine. I've found the semi-flexible routines work. Schedules don't.

The first thing I do to make sure I'm back in my groove is start my day right. I wake up ON TIME and get my time with the Lord in and exercise done. These two things really set the table for the rest of the day. I'm spiritually and physically capable to handle the day after this and thus emotionally ready to take on just about anything. I also make sure I dedicate time in the morning to cleaning and/or tidying the house. It's nice to work on projects without tripping over messes and clutter. It's nice to return to a clean house from exhausting errands.

Also, with keeping in the groove, I've learned to stop making so many trips. Not only does it eat my gas budget, but it wastes time. I live in the country, so it takes a little while to get anywhere. The closest I can go get milk and bread is 6 miles away (4 if I take a dangerous shortcut on an seasonal road). Little hopping trips that I don't NEED to take are eliminated. It is amazing how much more smoothly a day goes when it isn't broken up by errands.

I have to set times to be online, otherwise, I'll be on all day!! I can go online after I spend time with the Lord, exercise, shower and dress and get my early morning chores done. If my son isn't awake yet, then I pop online. This also goes for his naps. When my chores are done and if he's still napping, I can go online.

It seems for every half an hour online, an hour in the day is wasted.

Now, it is also beneficial to recognize realities. For instance, this is the time of year I put up a lot of produce. I'll be doing this until October. Thus, I need to understand that I'll have a day or two a week when I have to do this. Other projects, and perhaps even some housecleaning are put to the wayside for the time-being. I also have a garage sale coming up next weekend. I am planning for that so I don't lose my groove.

Here is a rough-rough draft of my routine or "groove:"

Sunday: REST REST REST REST REST and perhaps a pet-project that's relaxing

Monday: Laundry, house cleaning
Tuesday: Project day
Wednesday: Project day
Thursday: Errand day
Friday: Laundry, house cleaning
Saturday: Errand, project or visiting day or whatever hubby has lined up

Projects for me include: major gardening (not just weeding I might fit in for 1/2 an hour before bedtime), canning, sewing, a house repair or redecorating project, or something else hubby might have lined up.

Also, there are every-day chores and activities that need to be done like vacuuming, playtime with my son, dishwashing, dinner making, etc. But for me, those just happen as the day unfolds. I just do them. It's the bigger things that require more prep and planning that I really need to fit in my groove.

Ok, hopefully this post wasn't too rambling....

Today, I did manage to fit in canning 3 pints of brandied peaches, 2 pints of cherries, and a pint of plain peaches. Not much because such produce is expensive where I live, so I can only buy a little at a time, even when it's on sale.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Mary, Martha, Modern Viewpoints

Today's Daily Bread reading was about Mary and Martha. It started out with an example of a political leader in Kentucky who stopped mowing his lawn and put out a sign that says, "There's more important things to do than mow the lawn."

As I browse through vintage posters on allposters.com, I saw one that says something along the lines of a clean house equals a boring person. I also hear busy homeschooling moms and career moms alike saying that they have more important things to do than clean the house or get organized.

On the other hand, I know of women who scour the internet for organizational and housekeeping tips. Others have spotless houses and are quite proud of that accomplishment. Yet others are absorbed in the rather futile effort to get their over-cluttered homes and lives organized.

In a society that is breaking down the traditional family structure, there is a lot of emphasis on spending time with the family.

Mary, Martha....which way do we go?

I have another "M" word to throw into this thought....MODERATION! We can't be too Mary and leave things undone. Clutter and disorganization breed more of that and add to stress and discomfort in the home. We MUST have Mary times in our lives.....spending time with God, with our husband, with our children, etc, but should we start eating off paper plates so rather than doing dishes we color in coloring books with our children? That's neither financially nor environmentally sound. Once in a while is ok, but with a little organization, self-discipline and creativity, we can keep a tidy house and spend important times together. The biggest key is to start our days in the Lord.

We can't be too Martha, either. I read in a recent study that parents today are spending more time with their children than parents did in the 1960's. I wondered how this could be since moms tended to stay home. Well, our 1960's mothers tended to send their children outside to play and spend their days cooking and cleaning. Today, we tend to focus on their soccer games, their homework, watching a movie together, etc. I think back to my own childhood, and I can't remember a single time my mom colored with me or played dolls with me. It just wasn't done. Time with our families and with God is of the utmost importance. So is a clean and tidy house, but not when every minute of every day is consumed with keeping the house spotless.

Every house and family is different. Thankfully, I live in a very small house that's really easy to clean, so I have time for my son, my husband, and of course, my God.

Perhaps you need to reflect on this post and think about how you can revamp your schedule/routine to accomodate moderation. Also, keep in mind that quite often special circumstances arise that throw you into more Mary or more Martha. For example, you've got a newborn....definately more Mary. Forget fancy dinners and a scrubbed toilet for a while. Your baby needs you and you need to recover and get some sleep.

My best to you!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Garden, Picnic, Diapers

I harvested four turnips and a bunch of spinach from my garden today. Oh, and some black raspberries! I also have some tiny green peppers growing and plenty of green tomatoes.

Today is a family picnic for the Fourth of July. I've been asked to make a green salad, but I cheated and bought greens from the store. I just don't think I have enough of my own for a large salad. However, I did make my own dressing out of olive oil, vinegar, fresh-squeezed lemon juice and herbs from my garden (chives, oregano, basil and thyme).

I'm considering starting a small series on a quick and easy herb garden. I have the titles already imagined up. It's kinda corny, but cute.

Anyhow, in my effort to be quite healthy and strong, I've decided not to sit on my tush during the picnic. I'll get involved in lawn games and chase my son around, instead. Hubby's going to be late. He's out doing hay for the farm next door. Rain is coming.

Candy at www.myblessedhome.blogspot.com has been generously given some Fuzzibunz diapers. Now, I'm inspired to try them. The price is quite the deterant, though. Then again, how much have I been spending on disposables!? I think it's time to give it a try. Anyone have any advice, suggestions, places to get the diapers, diapers to sell or give away, websites, etc? Leave your answers in the comments section for me, please.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy July!!

I have high hopes for July. There's just so much I want to do! There are so many chores to take care of and projects to do.

First of all, I'm preparing for my garage sale next weekend. I'm doing it in conjuction with my father selling off his business, so hopefully we'll both do well.

The harvest is usually thought of the occur in the autumn, but there's harvest going on now. I'll be putting up peaches, plums and berries in the next few days. Also, I'm thinking of pulling up my spinach and freezing it and planting a second batch.

I am determined to finish the dining room walls...soon.

Plus, I have TONS of sewing to do and yet another idea for an at-home business!

There is one re-enactment that hubby and I are planning on attending this month. It's at the end of the month and literally down the road from us. Hubby told me that he'll stay the night, but he just wants our son and I to day-trip. I'm considering making a few things to sell there.

Well, best be off to organize all this garage sale stuff! It's amazing how much junk I have and I was sure I decluttered!