Monday, April 24, 2017

Hanging Up the Phone


There are admirable women in my life.  Women who raised families the "old fashioned way" before technology was the rule.  Their homemaker examples and influence fashioned very strongly how I pictured my own homemaking lifestyle.

For me (yes, that is a disclaimer.  I am expressing that this is how I feel for myself.  I make no claims that every woman should be in line with this way of thinking.) that influence is stronger than just charming nostalgia.  For me, it honestly feels like wisdom I could follow to find my own homemaking peace of mind.

So, I am doing a little series on this blog.  I will be looking back at how my mother and grandmother and my neighbor and other such ladies kept their homes and families during the eras when homemaking was honored, cherished, and keeping the house was a serious career and daily routine rather than a hurried after thought.

They seemed more joyful and less stressed.
I feel harried almost all the time.
So, my little experiment is to look into the past aesthetics and practices I so admire and see if there is a key to homemaker peace for me.

Hanging Up the Phone

Growing up, my family had one rotary phone hanging on our kitchen wall.  It was yellow with a stretched out cord so my mother could carry on with her chores while she talked.
She was still tethered and limited, and phone calls could be costly, so often the phone was just "hung up."

Today, we have cell phones practically attached to our bodies.  It has become an absent-minded practice to pick it up for "just a quite check" and find that 15 minutes or more has passed.  I can easily waste HOURS-That's right, HOURS-just scrolling through and refreshing facebook.

I need to Hang Up the Phone!

Hubby purchased a charging station.  It largely goes unused.  It is easier to just plug the cell phone into the nearest outlet wherever I am and continue to use it.
I have decided to dust the old charging station off and use it to do the old fashioned practice of actually hanging up my phone.

I imagine I will get a lot more done and be a lot more efficient and peaceful and focused with my cell phone tucked into its home and away from my easy grasp.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reducing Food Waste



The fridge needed a good cleaning.
Thankfully, I did better at keeping up with it than I had in the past.
But, I still threw out an embarrassing amount of food.

It really got me thinking about my grocery spending and food waste.
I realized that I buy too much food, and too many "foods with broken promises."
These are foods that I buy because I have some fantasy that I am going to make something special, and I never get around to it.
These are foods I impulse buy on clearance because they're cheap and good for me, but they are ultimately extras that I never get around to eating.
These are foods I purchase with high hopes that my kiddos will eat them despite knowing deep down that I will shun the food and it'll go to waste.

So, I started this week's grocery shopping with some new thoughts and considerations.
One simple change (something I used to do in the past but since forgotten about) was purchasing boiler onions.
It started today when onions were on sale at the local store.  Such a good price!  I walked up to the pile and noticed how large they all were.
I dug through the bin looking for the smallest available but even those I knew I'd only use half of at a time.  The other half tends to go to waste.
My children do not like bits of onion in their food.
I tend to season with onion powder.
But sometimes I need a bit of onion.
But almost never do I need an entire large onion, no matter how good a deal a 3 lb bag of them are!

It was then that I remembered what I used to do back in my early days of marriage.
I bought boiler onions.
These little onions are the perfect size for any dish that requires onion and not onion powder.  And if I need more, I just simple chop up another bulb.
No more finding shriveled, blackened onions in the bottom of the onion basket.
No more throwing out half an onion because I couldn't use it right away.
(I tried freezing onions before....another big waste for me.)

It isn't saving money if you are just throwing the deal away.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Repotting Houseplants


The calendar says spring has arrived, but winter holds on tightly here.

My ground is still frozen solid and snow covered.

The wind blows damp and icy.

The air is dry and arctic bitter cold.

Houseplants make it all better, though.

Green thumb therapy happens with the seasonal repotting.

http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Natural or Conventional Healing


It was bound to happen.

With 4 children taking turns catching every bug that swarm around the classrooms, my poor immune system was bound to fall victim, even with diligence.

With so many wonderful academic upsides to the children entering public school this year, this is one of the downfalls.  They have caught germs never caught before.  Strep throat, impetigo...

Strep throat is the one that claimed me.

I suspected as much and started hammering the germ with my natural remedies, as described in this letter to Mrs. Rothwood.
I also researched Dr. Google on strep throat since we've never had it before.  Natural remedy articles are quick to demonize antibiotics and encourage sticking it out to build natural immunity.

Conventional articles are quick to scare you with threats of worse diseases possible with untreated strep.

I used to be fully intent on doing every crunchy thing possible when ill.
I still am to some extent.

But, I am no fool.

And I give you permission to not feel pulled either way.  (Not that you need my permission in the least, but sometimes it is nice to join the few in the middle and be assured).

I read the articles and decided to meet natural and conventional in the middle. 

I started with natural.  They weren't working.  After two days, I feel worse.  Then, I read that if left untreated by antibiotics, strep can be contagious for 2-3 weeks AFTER symptoms go away.  This was the clincher.  I have an immuno-compromised husband to consider. (Not an STD, for those wondering, and for trolls looking for fodder).  But, with antibiotics, he will be safe to live with me after a couple of days.  Thankfully, he is currently away on business, and away from my germy self.

The doctor also told me that I could reinfect my children if I do not take the antibiotics.  I agreed with her to take them.

Natural remedies sometimes work and sometimes work very very well.  I fully believe in utilizing them, but we must be wise.  There is a reason conventional medicines have come about.  Sometimes natural remedies aren't enough.

The best we can do is go with our guts and ignore the shouting from either corner.

I look forward to feeling better, soon.

And, yes, I have a really good probiotic.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Goat-Girl!


She was home sick from school that day, but I was able to get her some fresh air as we visited the new baby goat at a neighbor's farm.

So pale, but all smiles!  What a trooper!

Monday, February 13, 2017

It's Not Just Cats....


Who lay on top of one's knitting!

This is Duncan, by the way.  He is a Cairn Terrier mix that we picked up from the shelter last June.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Snowed In Schoolhouse


This is our first "over a footer" snowstorm of this winter season.

When I was growing up, these weren't very newsworthy.
2 feet of snow was more typical with blizzards of 3-4 feet in places being big news.

Regardless, having everything covered in a fresh layer of snow is simply beautiful and peaceful.

I love looking out of my living room window at the old one-room schoolhouse across the street.  No matter the season, it is a beautiful site.

In two more months there will be yellow daffodils around the foundation.

Today, it gets a blanket of snow.

This blog post is linked at Coast Charm.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Who Is Mildred Rothwood?


In the absence of a penpal, I have begun a creative writing blog called:

Rothwood Letters

Mrs. Mildred Elizabeth Rothwood is my fictional penpal to whom I write of my daily goings-on and thoughts, as I would a real penpal.

Mrs. Mildred Elizabeth Rothwood is also YOU, my readers.  When you leave a comment, it is as if you are Mildred, herself writing back to me.  (Unless you are a tiresome troll, in which case just don't).

Enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2017

No SAD!!!



For several years now, every winter I get a bad case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

This winter is different!

Here it is the end of January (and where I live, winter usually starts around Nov. 1st, though we did have October snow this season, too.) and I do NOT have SAD this year!!

What's different about this year?

I attribute it to two things:

1. Less stress (not homeschooling has helped me have the time and peace to heal overall).

2.  Immune Booster supplements!  The kind I have contains not just Vitamin C, but Zinc, and Echinacea.

I also added a women's vitamin supplement to my diet and that seems to be helping my other SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder).

Take care of yourself, ladies.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I don't have to be exceptional

Purchase at Target
(not an affiliate link)

It seems the millennial "everyone is special" has birthed the post-millennial trend of
"you need to be exceptional."

Just a quick browse through social media and people show their best faces, smiles, accomplishments, etc.

As a child I enjoyed watching figure skating on TV.  At the time a perfectly landed triple lutz was a rare thing where everyone oohed and ahhed and the executor of it was lauded as an amazing athlete (usually male).  Imagine my surprise when I found figure skating on TV just a few months ago and the girls were landing quadruple/triple combos!!!!

Just how limitless are we?!

There is a lot of pressure out there to be exceptional.

Do it "like a boss."
Be a "bad@$$."
"No excuses!"
"Own it!"
"Nail it!"

I was walking through Target and saw this water bottle that says, "like a boss."
It actually gave me a little anxiety to see it.
I thought of all the ways I felt like I wasn't measuring up in an instant.
Ridiculous, I know!

So, I reminded myself that I don't need to be exceptional.  There is nothing wrong with ordinary.  There is nothing wrong with simple.  There is nothing wrong with not being a "bad@$$" at something with a Katy Perry Roar attitude.

There is nothing wrong with being a strong personality with drive and noticeable ambition, either.

All I am saying is that I am giving myself permission to not have to over-achieve anything, or prove anything to anybody.

I have the freedom to just live, breathe, love, and do.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Choosing

I joke that I am always wobbling between wanting suburban materialism and rural simplicity.  

Over Christmas, I was at Target for the umpteenth time.  I finished my shopping and returned to my rusty mini van trying to shake off the lingering feelings of guilt I always get when I spend money beyond the normal budgeted weekly allowances.  I had to wait for a woman to back out and drive away before I could move.  She looked so posh in her newish black car, her professionally dyed hair up in messy bun encircled with a cute headband/earwarmer, and she drove one-handed as she sipped her Starbucks beverage.  As Target bags filled the back of her car, she didn't look one bit guilty for her purchases as she sped away.

I wanted to be her.

I wanted to shop at Target with abandon and not feel guilty for buying new towels, or grabbing that cute book for my kids, or snagging those clearance cute boots.

On the drive home I thought about how I could live that life.  I decided it was possible.  I would just need to keep my kids in public school and get a job.  Even just a part time job would give me the extra money to splurge.  I could really make our little home nice and not so patch-worky.  I could order Starbucks every time I walked in.  Maybe I could even drive a nicer looking vehicle.

I contemplated it pretty seriously for a while, but I couldn't shake off how it would complicate things.

Did I really need to leave my home and work a job just to binge-shop at Target?  Would it be worth it?

The freedom I have, that my family has with me being at home is worth the lack of funds.  Sure, income can be a sort of freedom, too.  It's nice to be able to just go out to eat rather than having to rush home and make something from scratch before tummies rumble on an outing.

But, my kiddos are still small.  I'm still dealing with health issues and anxiety issues.  And I don't need more THINGS in life just because one woman looked glamorous and guilt-free in the Target parking lot.

Too complicated.

Some day I may truly need to get a job.

Just not today.

I choose simplicity.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

T'is a Gift To Be Simple



#Simplicity

So very much has changed since I last blogged.

I tried starting other blogs under other titles, but then I fizzle out and always end up coming back to my first love, this blog right here.

I even thought of starting a blog called "T'is a Gift to be Simple," but that is just my theme for this year.  Perhaps next year, too.  Perhaps a forever lifestyle change, but how can I know that?

What I do know is that I have a heart for this little Taigh Beag, this little Cottage of the Hill and all the changes that have occurred under it's little (and now, thanks to hubby and my brother-in-law, new) roof.

We have changed churches.
We enrolled out school-aged children into public school.  (And they LOVE IT!)
We have a dog!!  (I'll introduce him in another post)
We are officially out of the baby/toddler stage and hauled the last toddler bed out of the house two weeks ago.

So, that is how 2016 ended for my big family in our little house.

2017 has begun with Simplicity.

I am inspired by so many advocates of simplicity:

The Tiny House Movement
Minimalism
Vintage and Historical Domestic Accounts
Zero-Waste Home

It isn't just simplicity in the home, though.

I left a church/denomination where I felt Christianity was complicated.  I wanted to shut up all the voices, the opinions, the pat answers, the Christian "speak" and just hear God.  I felt like Christianity is supposed to be much more simple and straight-forward.

My body has revolted on me.  Despite over a decade of eating healthfully and exercising, it wasn't enough.  I need to simplify not only my diet, but my stress levels and activity levels.  I am becoming much more realistic about my expectations of myself and life in general.

I am also accepting that I am a simple person and I am content with a small life.
I don't need to prove anything or accomplish a great deal.
It truly is a gift to be simple.

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