Saturday, August 30, 2008

In a Name...

~I went yard saling and WOW! I hit some great yards! Some of course were duds, but you have to expect that every once in awhile. I limited myself just to Manchester and actually ended up limiting myself to the southern portion of the city just because of logistics. I found a lot of things on my wishlist as well as fulfilling another of my weekend dreams: I found a black velvet sheath dress for tonight's wedding and already have the perfect shawl for it!
I ended up at a friend's yard sale and got to visit for awhile...what a pleasure! I bought her rocking chair, (my feet reach the ground! WoooHooo!) and learned that she'd found it at a yard sale as well! And the cycle continues....
I also repaired my duct tape dress form and now she's wearing my new dress! My hubby approves (I tried it on too,) and I realize I need a name for my duct tape helper!

Unfortunately, I cannot take any more pictures of her because my camera is taking a dream weekend too. I finally got a repair part and figured out how to switch it out but, ooops...tore one of the electronic ribbons. (I have no idea what they're called, just bear with me!)

But I did have this one unadorned clip of her from when we made her last weekend...

So, what do you think I should name her?!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Weekend Dreams

Yes, Weekend Dreams. Not Weekend Goals. That sounds too much like work. And it just sets me up failing to reach the goals, but if they're dreams, who can be faulted for not fulfilling every last dream?

So Labor Day weekend will be a Dream Weekend! Doesn't it just sound so wistfull, relaxing, dreammy?

But I are my weekend dreams:
~pickle my cukes
~make granola bars DONE
~make peppermint patties
~see the sunrise over Hampton Beach one of the mornings
~start making paper from junk mail
~start a diy project for the venuszine contest
~figure out what to wear for Saturday night's wedding!! DONE
~set up the new compost bin
~use up the rest of the tomatoes from mom's garden
~install the new backlight in my stupid camera that's not even a year old! Oi. {sigh} (used, got on e-bay) DONE, SORT OF...
~yard saling! But only in Manchester. I took a month off and now I'm letting myself out again. But on a leash! DONE

But first, I have to consider what's already scheduled:
~Fireworks at our friend's house friday night
~Wedding for another friend to her dream-come-true fiance (they're so perfect for each other!)
~Greeting at church Sunday morning
~Hyung may sleep over Sunday night
~Hopefully seeing the sunrise (listed above)

So that leaves me with Saturday and Sunday afternoon and most of Monday.

{can she do it?}
{We shall see!}

{"She" reserves the right to add to or subtract from this list at any moment during the weekend. If she does subtract from the list it in no way reflects an opinion on this blog, but is simple fact. If she adds to the list, it does not indicate a swollen head or arrogant I-can-do-everything attitude, but instead, reflects a dreams-might-still-come-true outlook. If at any time it is suggested that she won't be able to complete the dream list, it's not an indication of failure, but of acceptance that there still aren't 40 hours in a day, and that's okay.}

Added Dreams:
~Tape up my duct tape dress form. Again. (It keeps busting open!) DONE
~Research cost of making a paper-tape dress form
~Ohohoh! Finish the Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Roundup of our mudroom!
~Find a copy of "Nurturing Silence," a book I saw at the counselor's office this week...
~I just thought of something and between that moment and this {and about 5 things I had to get done before I could do this} I've already forgotten it. Dang. {SATURDAY: I need to come up with a plan for my "food related lifestyle change." Not to be confused with a "diet."}

Subtracted Dreams: (or demoted to "if time allows" status)
~Pickling cukes
~making peppermint patties

Oh, I'm so totally doing this!

Check out venuszine's 4th annual craft-off contest!
And hurry, the deadline's Sept 18th!
Someone's going to get the Singer 8763 Curvy sewing machine!, what will I make for this?

Note to Self: 6th Edition

1. I don't have to accept myself the way I am. Some say you should. I say why settle? Yes, being happy with who you are is sometimes healthy. In the right context. But being open to change verses becoming complacent is healthy as well. If you're happy with who you are, but ignoring major flaws of charachter, that's a problem.

2. Be Present. While I'm being pulled in three directions (yes, down from 10!), I have to watch myself. You know the saying "borrowing $ from Peter to pay Paul." I have to make sure I'm not stealing time from Peter to spend with Paul. (Don't tell my hubby!)

3. Objectivity is golden. Through out marital counseling, I had an individual session where all we talked about was my family of origin. "Phil" asked some questions that seemed rather irrelevant at the time, but it really opened my eyes to the deeper dynamics of our family. I think of myself as a pretty intuitive and self-aware kinda gal, but he really helped me see even deeper. It was an incredibly valuable experience being able to gather his objective insight.

4. Delayed Gratification is Sweet. I hope. I haven't been able to get to the Department of Motor Vehicles to officially upgrade my driver's licence to motorcycle operator, so as I drive around town seeing all these people in office clothes atop their sport bikes (so funny to see!), it's a bit of a taunt to me! But I'll eventually have my bike and can start riding just like them, and it'll be sweet indeed!

5. My hubby and I are so in tuned to each other, and we both avoid confrontation so much, that when one is upset, the other retreats. Then the upset one retreats and the other retreats even more. This is a totally stupid spiral that goes on and on. In order to break the cylce, one of us has to change, and it looks like it's going to be me.

6. As far as I've come, as mature as I've gotten, {snort}, I've got a lot to learn.

{Swift River, Kancamagus Highway, near Conway, NH}

{Reflection of a grey heron on Conway Lake in Conway, NH}

My Wishlist

(Things to look for at yardsales)
seam guide
fiskars soft handled precision scissors for teddy-bear materials
4 qt crockpot
40 hours in a day (but just as many days in a week)
Permanent Clothesline
Bench for mudroom "area"
"Squarefoot Gardening" (book) (can't remember author)
Canning jars
Canning pot
Magnetic Canning "Wand"
Canning basket
Pantry Shelving units
Coat Hooks
Coat Rack

And my far-out wishes:
Serger (overlock sewing machine)
Laundry Lady
Dishwasher (person)
Administrative Assistant
Oh wait. I am an administrative assistant.

ten words

This is the difference between midnight and 9 am. Laptop and desktop.

63 words

Speed test

the globe in my living room

I just posted a Note to Self Friday...
Like, yesterday!
Or, maybe the day before....
Yeah, I guess it was a week ago.


I'm sitting in my dark livingroom wishing I was asleep, the windows are open and I hear the crickets and some animal chirping or croaking. Chroaking.
The cool breeze wafts in the window and I try to ignore the sound of the tractor trailer rolling down the highway on the other side of the river.
I couldn't sleep because the upstairs was still so hot from the house being closed up all day, hopefully by the time my eyes refuse to open again the upstairs will be as cool as it is down here. Or it won't matter and I can fall asleep anyway!

I just stopped by Cathy's blog, Keeping it Real at 66 degrees North Latitude and was in for a reality check! They are preparing for frost. (In Alaska) It's August and they're preparing for frost! Only minutes before, I was admiring Tabitha'a patio set which she hopes to use sometime in the next few months when "the temps are bearable!" (In Arizona) Am I the only one that thinks this is funny? Is it because it's after midnight?

Ah, well...I suppose I should be thinking of the things I've learned in the last week...

The typing test

53 words


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Locks of Love

How's this for Reuse/Recycle/Repurpose:
I tend to grow out my hair, then cut it all off every two years or so. Last time I cut it off, I'd begun hearing about Locks of Love. They "provide hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis."
I didn't donate my hair that day because I was afraid they wouldn't be able to use it as it was all split ends-ish. To my surprise, I found out later that they would have accepted it!
Fast forward to this past spring/early summer...
My dad had grown out his hair purposely so that he could donate to Locks of Love! He really inspired me to make sure I grew it long enough again before cutting it all off!
I plan to donate my hair as soon as it's grown out enough so that I don't have to have a "boy cut" again! I know, I know, there are great ways of styling short short hair on women, but I always tend to end up looking rather boy-ish for some reason!
Right now, I have about a 5 1/2" pony tail, so although I have quite a bit of hair, I've got a long way to go!

Here are some of the FAQ's I found most interesting:
~Most of their hairpieces are given to children diagnosed with alopecia areata which causes permanent hair loss and has no known cause or cure.
~It can take up to 10 donated ponytails to make one hairpiece!
~These custom hairpieces would cost between $3,500 and $6,000.
~They will sell hair that is too short, gray, or otherwise unusable in order to help offset manufacturing costs.
~They DO NOT throw hair away unless it is wet and moldy or not bundled in a braid or ponytail when it is received.
~You can sponsor a child's hairpiece for a donation of $1,000. Or cut, grow out, cut, grow out, cut, etc...
~Locks of Love is always in need of hair!
~Recipients can reapply for a new hairpiece every 18 months. One recipient could receive up to 8 hairpieces throughout their childhood.
~Because these hairpieces are custom made, they cannot be reused.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thrifty Thursday: switching from two to one income

Okay, a few of the ideas I found at weren't exactly news items. We all probably pretty much know these things or think of them as common sense, but they are good reminders.

Surprise to me:
~You can freeze milk! As a seldom-milk-drinker, I buy the smallest amount possible when I know we'll have use for it, but still often find myself throwing some of it away a week later.

My Favorite Tip:
~Make-ahead your own basic and convenience food supplies. Such as granola, jam, hard-boiled-eggs, applesauce, etc. Sure, we can get them pre-made, but for quite a price!

Announcing: Totally Free Find!!!
I was stoked last night to find Kitchen Manuals Online, where I finally found the instruction manual for my $5 yard sale bread machine! I could have also gone through the manufacturer but every time I've tried in the last month, I get errors! There are also sites out there that will charge $8+ for these manuals! Don't pay for a manual until you've checked this site out! I was able to go directly to a PDF File and save it right onto my laptop.

I've been thinking more and more about living on one income. Neither me or my hubby are executives, making six figures (I don't think we even make 6 figures between us!) so it's not like living on my hubby's income would be simple. Then again, if we were making 6 figures, we'd be living a different lifestyle and the changes necessary for going from two to one income would also be hard.

But let's face it, living in America, in New England (and some other areas) is rather expensive. Yes, we've gotten used to living a certain lifestyle. In my estimation, it's rather frivolous of us to go to two NASCAR races every year (and this year we're adding a third-ouch!). And I think it's frivolous to have "more than basic" cable. I'm sure there are a ton of other things we're spending money on that are totally unnecessary, but I digress.

At I found this article which talks about going from two to one incomes. I loved reading Sue's entire story, but was thrilled at how she ended it: "I think the one thing we have learned from this transition is that time is a commodity that people rarely put a price on and yet it is probably the most valuable thing we possess."

At, I found another arcticle about switching from two to one income. As I've mentioned, I don't know if we'll be able to have kids or not, but I definitely want to stay home regardless.

The more I think about the ways in which we can save, cut back, and make extra money doing other things, the more I come to realize many of these things take time out of the day. Not that I'm looking for the "easy way out," but I'm being realistic about my abilities and expectations. We still don't have a 40 hour day and I'm still not going home after working all day to weed the garden and sew up crafts to sell and fold the laundry and turn the kitchen into a showplace.

It's just not...gonna...happen.

I haven't even broached the subject with my hubby yet, but I want to make living on his income work. Before I bring it up with him, though, I think I have to have all my little duckies in a row or he'll completely dismiss the idea! I quit my job once before to pursue a career with a direct sales company and it ended in disaster. We were so deep in debt it looked hopeless. Our marriage suffered and I slipped into the biggest depression I've ever experienced. I anticipate that the first words I speak about this will completely shut my hubby down and he'll stop listening.

But I think, given the experience we had before, we can make it work this time. We hadn't changed our lifestyle any. I drove a gas-guzzling SUV, we went out to dinner, I still impulse shopped, we made no changes. We lived in an imaginary world and were rudely awakened by ruining our spotless credit and the phone ringing off the hook from collectors' calls. Ouch.

This time, we have the benefit of our previous experience to teach us what NOT to do.

ABC's of Homemaking

Not that I'm a homemaker in the sense that I am a SAH-Homemaker, but I am a homemaker in the sense that I still have a home to "make." Right?
I found this over at Sweet P's blog, Coffee Time at Home:

Aprons--y/n If y, what does your favorite look like?
I have two aprons. I usually forget to use them and end up getting oil splatter or chocolate on my regular shirts, but when I do remember to wear an apron, I prefer the bright red one because it's simple and works like a charm. The other one has adjustable straps that are more work than they need to be.

Baking--Favorite thing to bake?
I love baking! I'd have to say my favorite thing to bake is cookies. My hubby's a cookie monster! Other than that, I'm always up for something new!

Clothes line?
Yes!!! But I have a question for y'all. (in all honesty!)
I hang my clothes out before I leave for work and they hang out there for about 10 hours a day. Is that why they are so stiff, or would they still be stiff even if I took them down as soon as they were dry? I use vinegar as fabric softener, but I actually tried some real fabric softener I had leftover with one load and had the same results: Very stiff. Which is fine, I don't mind, but if they'll be softer with less time on the line, I'll do as much as I can on the weekends.

Donuts--Have you ever made them?
I've never made donuts. I'm not much of a donut girl. We do have a FryDaddy deep fryer though and have made chicken fingers, onion rings, stuffed jalapenos, french toast sticks, mozzarella sticks, and much more I'm probably forgetting.

Everyday--One homemaking thing you do every day?
Um, I don't, like, do chores every SINGLE day.
If anything, I throw a load of laundry in the wash most days. (Forget about folding and putting away though, that's actual work!)

Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze?
I would LOVE a separate deep freezer! Right now we have our main regular fridge/freezer unit and a separate fridge/freezer unit in the basement that my hubby converted into a kegerator complete with a tap system years and years ago. He never uses it as a kegerator anymore, and it's still usable, just has a hose sticking out of it! The freezer on that unit is standard size.

Garbage Disposer?
No, but now I compost anyway.

Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Home Ec 101

Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
I'm pretty neutral on this. Don't love it, don't dread it. It's just sort of one of those things.

Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it?
I have two. Three. No, two. Oh, that other one still a junk drawer? Drat. They are all in the kitchen. My poor, disorganized kitchen.

Kitchen--color and decorating scheme
The walls are a very soft muted green and the decorating scheme is Chili Peppers, so I have lots of red accents.

Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking?
When I have the time to do it without being rushed, I love to cook and bake.

Not so much.

Nylons--wash by hand or in the washing machine?
I used to handwash them when I bought the super expensive good ones at you-know-who's (shhh! it's a secret, after all!) Now I hardly wear them and when I do, they go in the wash, but hang to dry. Well, everything hangs to dry now, but pre-clothesline, those already hung to dry.

Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check?
I open the door to check. I find it pretty hard to see through the dark glass. Or am I supposed to clean that glass?

Pizza--What do you put on yours?
It's usually the one time we eat off paper plates.
Oh, what I put on IT...olives, sausage, mozzarella, basil, pepperoni, chunky tomatoes.

Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
I don't know what I'd do with a quiet moment. I'm much too ADHD for that! Though I do schedule in craft time at night. Sewing, beading, cross stitching, etc.

Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like?
Yes. It's wooden with a slanted top and a holder piece for the "recipe in progress" to rest while you're using it! Fan-tastic!

Style of house--What style is your house?
Cape. Wow. So succinct.

Tablecloths or Place mats?
Either. Right now we're using a classic red and white checked tablecloth (not Vinyl!!!) but I'll go through stages, switching it up every once in a while. Have I mentioned my ADHD?

Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland?
Uh - total jumbled wasteland! Trash, recycling, toxic cleaners I still haven't used up so I can replace them with my homemade ones, dustpan and hand broom, garbage bags, mystery containers, etc....

Vacuum--How many times per week?
Per WEEK? Eek! I think I just vacuumed Tuesday night for the first time in a year! (My hubby usually does this as we only have carpeting in the guest room, stairway and a throw rug in the living room. I hurt myself awhile back and he does it all at the same time since I couldn't do the stairs for so long.) To be honest, I think he did it every other week.

Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
Oh, was I supposed to keep track? Actually, last month there's no way I'd be able to tell you, but since we've been using the clothesline, it works out for me to put a load in every night and hang it out to dry every morning. I probably do this 4-5 times per week now.

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
(And do you complete said list?) (My attempt at humor)
Uh, ... not usually?

Yard--y/n? Who does what?
My hubby takes care of most of the yard work. I sometimes pitch in, but usually it's just with weeding the strawberry patch or pruning bushes or taking care of the area that gets poison ivy since I don't react to it.

ZZZ's--what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Like, every night?
Yeah, I'm not that organized.
Well, I'm beginning to be with the laundry situation. I'll put a load of laundry in the wash just before bed now. But besides that, I'm usually crafting or watching tv by the time bedtime rolls around and totally not in the homemaker mode!

Quite honestly, I'm a terrible homemaker. I can't imagine how I thought I'd be better when I had my own house. Something about pride in ownership.
Yeah, didn't happen. My poor hubby. He's definitely a keeper! He only complains about it about once or twice a year!

More Chore Slogans

I recently posted a very short list of catchy daily chore reminders and got a few more suggestions. I've since added even a few more, but I think my Mondays and Wednesdays are a bit loaded!

Mending Monday
Menu Plan Monday
Make the Bed Monday (strip, re-make)
Mudroom Monday
Tidy Tuesday (fridge, couch, car, trash, under/around appliances)
Handwash Wednesdays
Watering (houseplants) Wednesdays
Washroom (bathroom) Wednesdays
Weeding Wednesdays
Thursday?? (How about Thrifty Thursday - I must find one new thrifty idea to share!)
Thank you Thursdays (send thank you notes or any kind of friendly correspondence)
Finance Friday (bill pay, balance checkbook, update quicken)
Floor-me Friday (dust, vacuum, sweep, wash floors)

Any other ideas?


Somehow I missed Hot Topic Tuesdays over at a very mary design. It was fantastic what she wrote about and the comments that generated had loads of examples about smart ways to "go green."

Very Mary ended her post by asking "how has the Green movement effected you and yours?"

My Comment:
"I have just begun thinking more about this in the past few months because I felt I was just one person, how much of a difference could I make? But I finally decided to do something about it when I saw how economical greener living could be (when not buying into SOME of the green marketing ploys out there). First I stopped buying new clothes, then it spring boarded from there...we re purpose, recycle, or compost almost all of what we used to consider trash, use hankies and rags instead of Kleenex and paper towels, use a clothesline instead of the dryer, driving the speed limit instead of wasting gas, use fans during the day (while we're not home) instead of running the AC ALL DAY LONG (While We're Not There!!!) and so much more! It's really incredible the different ways you can "go green" when it just makes economical sense!"

But I forgot that I also:
~Make my own household cleaners
~Use reusable grocery bags
~Got my motorcycle licence
~We've used a built-in water filter system for years (no bottled water)
~Planning a veggie garden for next year
~Reuse plastic baggies (unless they had raw meat in them. I know you CAN clean them, but I don't want to take any chances with that!)
~Drive with as little weight in the car/trunk as possible (saves on gas mileage)
~Put two 1-litre bottles of rinse water in the toilet tank (saves 2 liters of water for every flush)
~If/when we have kids, I plan on using cloth diapers and using more old-t-shirt-rags instead of wipes (and forget about the wipe warmer!)
~Unplug the TV, appliances, etc when not in use.
~As a carpenter, my hubby brings home the extra cuttings from the lumber they use and we have a backyard fire almost every weekend with them instead of just tossing it all in a dumpster.
~Since my company shreds confidential documents then piles that shredded paper in the general trash, I take it home instead to use for making my own recycled Christmas Cards.

But I wonder if she was actually asking not "what do you do that's green," but "how is your life different with the changes that you've made?"

I think the biggest change in my life is a total difference in perspective. I blogged awhile ago about how I no longer shop just for clothes, but I shop for clothes with an eye for the fabric.
First of all, I don't shop for new products unless absolutely necessary. I'll search for a used item before I'll break down and buy used.
So when I go to a thrift shop and check out the clothes there, I'm no longer looking for something that fits me, or even a specific color or fabric, I just shop with an eye out for something that catches my interest.

What have I purchased new recently?
~Bound Index Cards which will stay bound, I'm making them into a book (and they were made from recycled materials)
~An outlet timer. (I think that's what it's called. People often use them when they go on vacation so their lights will come on and go off at different times of the day, making it look like they are still home. I didn't want to take any chances on a faulty timer, so I bought new.)
~Flash Drive (not taking any chances with polluting my laptop!)
~Memory Card for my camera (ditto the above for my camera!)

I also find myself getting the motivations of "Eco-friendly" and "frugality" mixed up in my mind a lot. I am motivated first to be frugal, then to be Eco-friendly. Then I get immersed in the whole concept of being Eco-friendly, and I think of other ways to save money (yes, switching back again) because so many of the ideas for being Eco-friendly are also frugal!

It's a wonderful spiraling train of thought and I'm just so psyched to be making such wise choices and changes in my life!

Other changes I've made that are more frugal than Eco-friendly (not to say that they aren't Eco-friendly though!):
~Making most meals from scratch
~bringing coffee & lunches to work instead of "fast-fooding"
~Stash Month - I haven't bought a single sewing or craft item for all of August!
~First limited my yard saling to the city I live in, then restricted all yard saling activity for a month. (Lot's of gas being used driving all over "tarnation"; and money spend on yard sales is the same as money spend at another "sale", albeit less expensively...but still...)

And Eco-Frugal things I do:
~taking the 30+mpg car instead of the 20-mpg truck unless absolutely necessary (for moving things or camping with lots of cargo)
~adding uncooked pasta to cold water then boiling, shutting off the stove and letting it sit for 10 minutes
~eating more raw veggies and fruits (Eco-Frugal and healthy too, oh my!)
~bought the outlet timer (above) so I can use my old crockpot that doesn't have an automatic shut off instead of going out and buying a third crockpot!!! (Which I really really wanted to do!)

So what do you do that's Eco-Frugal?

Clanging Cymbal, Resounding Gong

I recently ran across this post over at to the ends of the earth, and it spoke to my heart. Among other things, this jumped out at me and I can't help but to share:

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” The only way to say this better is found in 2 Corinthians 9:7 - 8, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
In turn, this sparked in my heart the begining of the "love chapter," 1 Corinthians 13:
1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Then I was reminded of a lesson I recently heard in a training. The last few verses in 1 Corinthians 12 gives even more meaning to these above verses:
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
It reminds me that we all have a specific place, a job, a function to fulfill, according to His design. Like a puzzle, we are the pieces, each with a unique design and coloration and we all fit together PERFECTLY ... when we are fulfilling our designed purpose and serving IN LOVE.
"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give."
And when we give from the heart, it makes all the difference. Giving for the sake of giving for some reason has so much less of an impact, doesn't it? To give for a tax write off? Not so much. I'm not saying you shouldn't write off your giving. It just makes sense to do so. But what is your motivation? Is the tax write off an extra bonus or is it the main reason you're giving?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

conTemplative Tuesdays and new goals

I'd really like to bake or cook something new or from scratch every day.

But is it realistic?

I'd like to do a lot of things every day, but there's still not 40 hours in a day.

If I had 40 hours in a day, I'd work 8, sleep 10, make all my meals from scratch, can something, sew something, hang the laundry out every day (weather permitting), cross stitch something, find new resources for my furniture ministry, plant something, harvest something, blog awhile, have tea with a new friend, visit sick kids, spend time relaxing with my hubby, and take a nap.

But there aren't 40 hours in a day and I still have to work 8, sleep 6 or 7, attend to personal hygiene, eat occasionally, commute, hopefully spend time with my hubby, and of course blog. (LOL!)

So I'll settle for making something new or from scratch at least once a week.

I learned something last night.

I had a lot to do, my sister is coming over tonight and my house was a MESS. There was so much to do to prep for her, plus other things I really wanted to get done.

In the past I'd have obsessed over it the whole way home, speeding, obsessing, going faster, obsessing, going over the plan in my head, cutting off people in the road, etc.

I'd get home completely wound up and storm in, create this terrible energy in the house, and get very little accomplished while expending extreme amounts of energy, including stress and negativity, aimed at the nearest victim which by no fault of his own would have been my hubby.
Instead, I chilled. I had a plan. I had it written down (as I usually do,) and I told myself that it was a guide, not law. If things didn't go just the way I wanted them to, I could adjust. After all, she's seen my house in worse shape before.

It worked well. I got dinner made with my hubby's help (unexpected) and the roasted tomato sauce made, I got a lot of cleaning done, some unexpected heart-to-heart conversations with my hubby (unplanned, as they usually are,) and I even willingly let go of some of the chores on my list and just sat and relaxed for a little while.

I wasn't stressed and didn't blast my hubby away with crazy energy. In fact, we had a really good, productive talk.

Now as I plan tonight's crazy busy schedule, I think back and then look at the plan, and think back. Is it really necessary that I do everything on this list? Am I over extending myself again? Do these things matter in the long run? What's going to matter the most in a week? That I tried that new granola recipe or that I spent time 100% focused on Hyung and listened to how homesick she is even though she's glad to be back? What can I cross off my list or put off to tomorrow? What is most important today?

How's this for a new goal:

I'd really like to discern what's most important in the long run each and every day.
Spending time in quality pursuits.
Leveraging what I'm good at to the greatest benefit.
Not to benefit me, but to benefit my goals in life.
To benefit the under resourced, the exploited.
I don't want to rescue them. Well, I kind of do, but I can see that rescuing isn't helping, it's just displacing the problem from one location to another.
I want to assist them, and educate those that take things for granted like being able to drive to a grocery store with lower prices.
I want the work that I do every day to benefit those goals, not earn my boss another trip to Paris or Greece or Scotland, or any number of frivolous luxury vacations he's taken.

I want to live in such a way as to be able to look back without regret for having wasted my talents and opportunities.


I logged onto Yahoo! this afternoon and my eye was caught by the "Free Stuff" headline. I am so excited to share these with my hubby, and thought I'd share them here too...
Perhaps you're already aware of this, but this took me by surprise. You can view entire tv shows from Fox and NBC Universal at virtually anytime! I was aware that TBS did this and supposed many others did, as well, but the ones I've researched don't. (ESPN, I don't remember what else!)
I've found these networks that currently have full episodes offered online, and I'll add to them as I find more:
ABC Family
Sci Fi

It doesn't appear that the following networks offer this:
Discovery(including TLC, Animal Planet, etc.)
This is of course a very short list, mostly limited to those channels I can think of off the top of my head that I MIGHT watch something on...very limited indeed!

Monday, August 25, 2008


So cool! I found this idea from Martha Stewart by a suggestion from one of the blogs I read regularly, Thimbly Things (isn't that the coolest name?)

I seriously have to consider a whole blog of the craft ideas I don't want to forget about!!! (like my Blecipes blog)


Now I totally need to yard sale for old children's blocks and books!

8/27/08: this is my new Craftank blog, just for craft ideas!

Meal Plan Monday!

This time I may even link up to the main Menu Plan Monday site! It's definitely worth a visit, I've gotten GOBS of recipes from there over the last few weeks...more than I know what to do with!!

Crusty Parmesan Zukes & Summer Squash with turkey burgers.

brown bagging a second lunch 'cuz we'll both be doing other things

Smoked Corned Beef and zucchini latkes

CORN (clean out refridgerator night)

Cornbread and BBQ Chicken with pasta salad.

No Noodle Crockpot Lasagna and our first "harvest" of sprouts!

More CORN!

Sister, Sister

Wow, the summer went by so fast in some ways and in others, I look back and think there has been so much happening, I don't know how I fit it all in!

My little sister is home, which marks the begining of her senior year in high school. Yes, she's pretty much half my age, and no - she's not really my sister. Hyung (pronounced h-young) is Korean and is going to a private school here in America. My parents are hosting her at their house. She calls them Aunt and Uncle or her Host Parents. At first she called me her Host Sister too, but now it's just sister. And I think it's appropriate. We really have come to be very much like sisters, though neither of us HAS a birth-sister, so who knows, really? LOL.

This little, seemingly innocent life circumstance has prompted me to look back on the last two months since she's been away. Quite by coincedence, I started this blog only days after she left.

This introspection has taken me back to Courage, to Obsession (LOL), to a change in perspective. And I think that became a springboard to so many other things!

Like Wardrobe Refashion, the Quit Now Challenge*, the Buy Nothing (new) Challenge**, identifying good-but-bad-for-you things, establishing Stash Month**, Org Junkie's Monthly Organizing Roundup, the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge, recognizing how I can replace one bad habit by any number of other ones (LOL, but sadly), learning yet again that I need to ask for help, and that often Slow Progress leads to lasting change.

I also did a little rearranging, came to a better understanding of why I don't like my job, realized I could write poetry even when I'm not depressed, (it's just different and doesn't just flow out of me like tears), and had to consider some fairly major life changes (for me).

I really feel that God has been leading me this summer, and my experience with the Cardboard City fundraiser was just one example. It was definitely Worth Experiencing, and was very revealing to me in ways I didn't expect. For example, I really missed my hubby. That surprised me. Really. I haven't held back about how we've been struggling the past few years, and back in May or June we really came to a crossroads: decision time. Stay or Go. And obviously we decided to stay and work on our marriage, but as many of you know, it isn't an overnight thing. That night away from him was quite misserable without him and I totally didn't expect that.

I think about how my hubby and I were when Hyung left last June. We were barely talking, just starting counseling, still afraid to hope. Now we've begun to understand one another better, begun to work together and really gel as a team in a way. It's hard for me to describe, maybe because it's so new, maybe because I don't fully understand it myself yet. But it's different than it's ever been. Ever, in 11 years of knowing each other and 8 years of marriage. Hm.

Perhaps equally profound is the fact that I'm learning, after 13+ years of "dealing with" depression, that I can do things to lessen the impact it has on my life.

And that with just a little nudge, a suggestion, an idea, my whole world-view can change in an instant. That, no matter how much you've got going on, when you put it in perspective, how important is it?

*I had ice cream Saturday night, the first time in 46 days. It wasn't planned, and from the moment our friends said dessert was ice cream, I was conflicted. I wasn't sure if I'd refuse it or not. But I didn't obsess over it and in the end I had a small bowl. It wasn't all I'd remembered it to be, and I no longer crave it! I can drive by an ice cream stand without regret and longing; and I'm REALLY enjoying my mostly-acne-free face!!

**As for the Buy Nothing new Challenge and Stash Month, I have kept pretty much on track. We went to Taco Bell once this weekend and I bought premade food at the grocery store, but other than that, we've pretty much gotten everything we *need* from re-purposing old items or have purchased them used or decided they weren't really a necessity. I do, however have a short list of things I would like to purchase in September. Is that defeating the purpose if we're buying them anyway, just waiting until a new month? Sort of. But I think delayed gratification is good. Especially since we are used to simply whipping out the credit card and getting it when we want it and paying for it for months on end later. This way, we are forced to wait and then we know it's something we'll appreciate more when we do get it...if we still *want* it in September! And as for the Stash Month - I haven't bought a single piece of material, thread, button, nothing! Not even used! Not even on sale! Not Even!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Finally! Another wardrobe refashion

My hubby and I finally got the chance to make my duct tape dress form...

We started with a two 60' rolls of duct tape, saran wrap and an old over-sized t-shirt...

And boy was it hot in there!

It took about an hour to tape me up, another half hour to finish it...stuff it, tape up the arm holes, etc...

And now I can finish all those tops that really need a dress form to finish them!