Thursday, 19 May 2011
So, today I am thankful that I still have all of my family with me. And that, for now, they are relatively healthy. There are some health issues, but we are all still here. I am also thankful that when the time comes, and it will, that we suffer the loss of a loved one or a more serious health issue than we've had already, that we know the One who comforts and sustains.
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
This week’s Journal is all about Home and Garden
This week in my kitchen ………
There's not a lot going on this week. My husband has been working until dark each evening trying to get a job finished before we go on vacation next week. We've been eating light. Salads, sandwiches, pizza
My gardening thoughts this week …….
I'm hoping it stops raining so we can get the rest of the garden in. I also hope the rain we've had doesn't ruin what's already been planted.
What I’d like to can, freeze or put up this year ……
Everything! Grocery prices are going up and up but unfortunately my grocery budget is still the same. So I hope to can, freeze, and dry as much as I can this year.
My plans for my home this summer ……
We have so many projects going. I would like to finish up some of the things we've already started.
This absolutely positively has to be done to my home this year ….
I have so many things! We have two new toilets and new linoleum sitting in our sun room so I would like to get the bathrooms finished. We also need to finish up our kitchen project we started 2 1/2 years ago! I guess the last thing would be to finish the privacy fence around our yard.
You can participate with your own entry by visiting Sylvia at Christian Homekeeper.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Peace. We all want it and there's only one way to get it. We need to keep our minds on God. Period.
We search and search for the thing that will make us happy, give us peace, fulfill our lives. There's only one thing that will do that and until we realize it we'll run ourselves silly, like a hamster on an exercise wheel, looking for that thing. It's right before our very eyes and unfortunately most of us will spend a lifetime seeking and never finding.
I'm so thankful this morning that while I'm not perfect by a long shot I have found my peace. My prayer today is that others will find it, too. I pray for the lost person that they will come to know the Lord. But, I also pray for the Christian who is still trying to figure out what the elusive thing is that would complete their lives. They've trusted Jesus for salvation, but they've yet to fully turn everything over and completely put their minds and hearts only in Him.
Is your mind stayed on Him?
Monday, 16 May 2011
Last evening my daughter and I finally got some flowers planted. I love to have flowers all around my porch so I now have 4 pots and 3 hanging baskets with flowers. I'll have to try to get some pictures. I still have 4 hanging baskets that hang around the hot tub that need flowers. I'm trying to remember the names of what I planted. They are all annuals and I don't know if I even know them all. I do know we planted begonias, impatiens, and dusty miller. There are two more that I can't remember the names of.
I am behind on house work, again. It seems I cycle with that. I'm either on the ball and on top of everything or I'm completely behind. It only takes one or two days of not keeping up and the next thing I know, I'm behind!
I have some sour cream in the fridge that needs used up. A couple of weeks ago I had a coupon for a dollar off two cartons of sour cream so I bought two. We were having tacos for supper so my hubby, trying to be considerate, stopped and bought sour cream! So, tonight I'm having a semi-homemade version of stroganoff. It's just browned ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, and sour cream served over egg noodles. Tastes delicious and is very quick to throw together! Pair it with a green salad and YUM! ;0)
We're leaving to go on vacation next week and we still have some things to get in our garden. The weather man is calling for rain everyday this week, so??? I hope we're able to finish it up. My poor husband has came home more days than I care to mention covered in mud trying to get the garden planted even in the rain. What can you do? If we wait until it isn't raining it may be JUNE!
That's the update for now! Not very interesting, but hey, I like it! =)
Sunday, 15 May 2011
Dumb Dumb Dumb!!
What made me think deleting two or three years of my life was a good idea? Ugh!
Saturday, 14 May 2011
I've walked through the valley. My husband has had a severely broken leg. So badly so that the doctors thought he may lose his foot. He went through 18 months of grueling physical therapy. And on top of it all ended up losing his job because he was a "safety hazard". He was injured at work doing a job he was told to do. They were already liable and didn't want him coming back and re injuring himself so they wouldn't allow him to come back saying he was physically unable to do the job and would be a safety hazard. He was out of work for a total of three years.
I've walked through the valley. My daughter had back surgery at 15 years old. At the worst of her pain she literally could not stand up straight and would tremble from head to toe from the pain. She would lay in bed at night and shake uncontrollably because the pain was so excruciating that she could not relax her body and sleep. This went on for 8 months. No one wants to suspect a back problem for a 15 year old, so a diagnosis was a long time coming. She still has 3 bulging discs and arthritis in her back. She also has bursitis in her hip. She's 21 and she works every single day with pain. In addition to the back surgery when she was 17 she was hospitalized for a week because she was dizzy, throwing up, had constant debilitating headaches, and a near fatal sodium level. Diagnosis SIADH (Syndrome of Inappropriate Anti-Diuretic Hormone) Cause unknown. She is still treated for that and will most likely have it for the rest of her life. Long term prognosis for someone her age with this is unknown because it is very rare for someone her age to have it.
I have been through the Valley but Praise God we've come out on the other side. I'm not in the Valley now and I WILL NOT apologize for that. I'm tired of having to feel like I have to hide that my children are not wayward, my marriage is not crumbling, my finances are currently good, I have a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear and I will Praise the Lord for those things because He is the one who gave them to me! My daughter still has health issues and has some level of pain nearly all the time. My husband still has pain, walks with a limp and has days when it's very painful for him to work, but he keeps going. Each day that we can get out of bed and live we are thankful for that!! God is good!
Somewhere along the way it has become a no-no to admit that God has been good to us and life is not all sour pickles! I'm not saying you should constantly brag about having "things", but I'm happy to say that my life is good! BUT!!! I've been through the Valley! I know what it's like. More than likely before I die I will go through the Valley again, but for now I'm going to enjoy not being there! LOL
Being in the Valley gives us appreciation for life that we may not have had if we hadn't been through some trials! Before going through the valley I probably would have complained about things that I no longer complain about. There are some things I'm no longer concerned about. To an outsider maybe my life isn't as good as I think it is, but I've been through times that make me realize how precious life and family are!
I am not saying we don't have bad days here, but over all I'm happy to wake up each morning and live my life. I'm happy that God has allowed me to be me! I love my family and my life! I will not be sorry for that or try to hide it!
Monday, 7 March 2011
Friday, 4 March 2011
I think Punxsutawney Phil knows what he's talking about! It seems we've been having spring like weather for a couple of weeks now. We've had some cold weather, but overall it's been very pleasant.
I'm sooo ready for spring! As a matter of fact my husband and I have all of our seed and plant catalogs out and are making lists. Time has snuck up on me (yes I said snuck! lol) because I thought we were getting an early start, but I'm thinking we're a little behind! Of course, having a grandson being born will throw timing off. I've been in a "Grandma Warp" for three weeks now. I turn into complete mush every time I see that little guy! But, back to gardening! I am very excited for some new planting this year!
Since last fall we've purchased 16 acres. Actually it's 15 point something, but I don't remember the exact number. We have big plans for that little plot of land! There are 36 acres for sale where we bought and we're hoping to be able to buy it all at some point. Hubby wants to put cows for sure and I would like chickens, too. He also wants pigs, but I've heard some negative things about pigs. Anyone have any experience with them? We also plan to till up a huge garden plot and the land is mostly rolling hills so we want to plant some trees as well. Dream. Dream. Dream.
I also have plans for the house we're actually living in! lol I'm afraid we get so sidetracked with dreaming about what's to come that we forget about the present. I would love to plant some more flowers around the yard. We also need to mulch this year. We usually add fresh mulch every couple of years. I suppose some people do it every year, but it's a costly job so we don't do it that often.
Inside the house I need to paint the living room, foyer, and hallway. That has been on my projects list for approximately forever!! I really dislike painting and I'm so indecisive with deciding a color. I need to just do it! I went to an Uppercase Living party last night and found some beautiful things I want to put on the walls, but the walls need painting first! Maybe that will be my inspiration to get it done?
What's that saying? The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time? I guess I better get to biting! I have a huge elephant to eat!
Thursday, 20 January 2011
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
In my homey kitchen …..
Unfortunately nothing is going on in my homey kitchen. I am waiting for the sink to be fixed and then all sorts of yummy goodness will flow out!
My thoughts on being at home ……
I have always enjoyed being at home. Sometimes I wonder if I don't enjoy it a little too much. I have to really make myself go out and do things because I'd much rather be home.
A constant habit I have of making my home comfortable is ….
I love burning candles and my latest thing is Scentsy warmers. Love them! I also like to keep everything clutter free (as much as I can with my packrat husband! lol) and clean.
If I could change the decor of my home ….
Oh, I have thought about this a hundred times. Usually about this time of year when everything has been closed up do I get the 'hankerin' to want a change. I don't have the decorating gene, though. I would love to have someone come in and give me some ideas. I have friends who have homes that look as though they should be in a magazine. They are still welcoming and inviting, but decorated very nicely.
What I want my children/spouse/other family to remember about my home is …
They were welcomed and loved here. They can brush off the harshness of the world and come in and feel safe and secure.
Makes me happy. I adore being home and having people in my home.
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
It all started 2 years ago with a brand. spanking. new. Kenmore dishwasher. Oh how I loved it. It's black shiny and has lots of features and it even won the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. It has jets that shoot water from all around getting the dishes from every angle. I can delay washing the dishes for 2, 4, or even 6 hours! Oooh! Sounds lovely doesn't it? The problem?
It doesn't work!!!!!
I should have realized right from the beginning. It didn't clean how I was hoping, but I thought, "Give it a chance. Maybe I got overly ambitious and over loaded it." Still it didn't perform how I'd hoped. "Okay", I thought, "Maybe I'm not using the right detergent." Because Walmart did stop selling my favorite brand. But, that's for another post.
The most recent violation in my dishwasher saga is when, for the past three times of running it, all the dishes on the top rack are still dirty. Not a spot here and there. Not something dried on that would be hard for any good dishwasher to tackle. No. D.I.R.T.Y. As if no water or detergent had ever touched them. Greasy bowls that my husband took leftovers in. Still greasy. Orange color from the spaghetti we had. Still orange. Milk from the cereal. Still there. And let's not mention the fact that my glasses come out with a lovely gritty feeling. Nothing like handing a glass to a guest and having to say, "Oh wait. That one is dirty. Let me see if I can find you a clean one!" UGH!
I'm so over this dishwasher! Last week I finally decided I would just start washing the dishes by hand. So I ran myself a sink full of hot sudsy water, filled my sink with dirty dishes and decided to check my Facebook while the water cooled down some. ;0)
As I'm sitting at the table enjoying my hazelnut coffee and seeing what's up with all my friends I hear it. Drip. DRip. DRIp. DRIP! I go to investigate and see that my sink pipe is leaking!!!!
Not to be deterred I put a pan under the sink to catch the water and go on with my life. Continuing to wash the dishes by hand and with a leaky sink.
Finally, last night hubby was home early enough to try to tighten the thingy around the pipe to stop the dripping. And then it happened... He broke the thingy!!!
So after much wailing here I sit on Tuesday morning at 9:32 with a counter, table, and sink full of dirty dishes with no way to wash them.
I would like to say that I am completely calm and I'll just find other things to do today, but no, I'll most likely spend a good bit of time lamenting the fact that I can't wash my dishes and knowing that later I'll be in here for hours getting them all done!
Have a good day! :~)
Saturday, 15 January 2011
So, if using the baby blanket from her childhood for her baby isn't sweet enough another sweet thing happened. Kristin and Travis went to a small Christian school where K-12 were all in one building and the Kindergarten teacher never lost touch with her students. Mrs. Barker (kindergarten teacher) moved away a few years ago to be closer to one of her sons. Her husband has Parkinson's disease and she knew she would eventually need help with him. Anyway, yesterday Kristin received a package in the mail from Mrs. Barker. It was some figurines she had received from Travis for Christmas when she had him in her class. They had his name and date on the bottom of them. She sent a note that said, "These treasures will mean nothing to my children when I pass, but they will mean something to yours. I thought you might like to have them." Is that the sweetest thing or what? Of course I cried. The Barkers have been special to our family for many years. They moved about 2 hours away and we try to visit them about once a year or so.
I posted these stories as two separate posts on a message board I'm on. So, if they sound discombobulated that's why! lol
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
This weeks Homekeeper's Journal is about time. Visit Sylvia at Christian Homekeeper to participate.
In My Winter Kitchen its time to ……….
Clean my oven. Some cheese spilled last time I made pizza. Now when I turn the oven on I have to open a window to let the smoke out, even though it's winter!
My biggest Time-Waster seems to be ……
TV or computer take your pick. Definitely have to watch those two.
I do/do not view Time as a gift from God and here is why……
Yes, I do consider time a gift from God. I think every breath we take comes from Him and we shouldn't waste our time because at any moment he could decide that we've had enough.
When others are slow or dawdle I ………
Depends on the situation. If I'm going to church or have an appointment I don't tolerate dawdling from my girls. I remember having a teen aged daughter who was spending a good deal of time trying to figure out what to wear to church. When it was time to go I told her we were leaving. Got my coat, purse and keys and heard her yelling, "wait I'm almost ready" as I went out the door. She was never late again. :-)
One way that I make good use of time in my household is …
I try to keep a schedule although it doesn't always work. The older I get and the more experience I attain in my homemaking the better I am at making good use of my time.
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
In The Thorn a young Amish woman named Hen has left the Amish community to marry an outsider. She has left her quiet Amish ways to embrace the English world and all of it's modern conveniences.
Five years after leaving the Amish Hen is noticing her young daughter is whiny and isn't a very obedient child. She is seeing worldly dress and MTV creeping into her daughters life and Hen starts to reconsider leaving her Amish ways. She is being drawn back to the People and their quiet ways. She starts to ponder all the things she left behind.
As I was reading the book I longed for quiet times. It seems the tv is constantly blaring. We are on the go with a rush rush rush mindset. I think the devil has completed a master plan that he put in place years ago. He has achieved his goal to keep our minds (and bodies) so busy that we miss God's still small voice.
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; [but] the LORD [was] not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; [but] the LORD [was] not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; [but] the LORD [was] not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. I Kings 19:11,12
God wasn't in the wind or the earthquake or the fire, but in the still small voice. We have to settle and quiet ourselves to be able to hear him. With music blaring, tv screaming at us 16 hours a day and running to and fro, how will we ever hear Him? Yes, I think satan worked that out quite nicely for himself.
As I spend January reflecting on 2010 and looking forward to 2011 I think a new goal for myself will be to slow down, quiet down, and listen.
Friday, 7 January 2011
When I was in the throws of raising children, two girls, I hardly had time or money to have my hair done so now that I'm older I'm enjoying it more. I remember going years and never stepping foot into a salon. I would either have a friend cut my hair or cut it myself. Or another option was to not cut it at all!
After I get my hair done I'll come back here and hopefully have time to do a few things before I have date night with my husband. We used to go out together regularly. Even when our children were small we always made sure to spend time together. Lately that's gone by the wayside a little. He's so busy all the time. When you work for yourself the work only gets done if you do it! So we planned earlier in the week that he would come home early today, no matter what, and we would go out together tonight. I'm a little excited! ;0)
When the children were younger our date nights would sometimes include a walk around a local college campus and maybe some shopping. We would inevitably end up buying something for the girls (if we bought anything at all). Tonight I hope to do some shopping only this time any purchases will most likely be for our coming grandson! How times have changed! I want to get a pack-and-play for him to sleep in when he's here. I have my eye on a couple that I like and tonight while I have my husband along I think I may make a purchase. ;0)
I hope you all enjoy your day and have a great weekend! Oh, and get to Church on Sunday!
Thursday, 6 January 2011
You may be thinking, "Big deal. We all make lists." But, no, I am a list maker! I make lists for everything! As a matter of fact, I'll make a list of some of the things I make lists for (hehe!):
- Grocery shopping
- Packing if I'm going on a trip
- Things I want to buy for gifts (Christmas, birthdays, etc.)
- Things I want to plant (flowers, vegetables, etc.)
- Bible verses I'm studying or meditating on
- Names of people (parties, weddings, showers, thank you notes, etc.)
- Meals I want to make
- Books I want to read
- A to-do list for the day
I love making a to-do list in the morning. There's something about writing it down that solidifies what I need to do for the day. Also, since I am of the "fly by the seat of your pants" variety, keeping a list keeps me on track. I have mild OCD when it comes to my list and I cannot stop until I've done every. single. thing. on my list. It will actually bother me if I get to the end of the day and everything isn't crossed off. So much so that I am very serious when making my list in the morning. I will only put the things I know I can get done in a day so I can mark it all off! I have had days when I didn't get to mark everything off and, of course I survived, but I really like to see the whole list completed!
If I don't make a list here is how my day will go. I will start loading the dishwasher when I see a book on the table that belongs somewhere else. I'll take the book to where it goes and see dust on the shelf and decide I need to dust. (Dishes still not fully loaded) While I'm dusting I'll find a pair of earrings that go in my room. I'll take the earrings to my room and see laundry that needs washing so I'll start a load of laundry. (Dishes still not done, dusting not completed) Once the laundry is going I'll go back to the dishes and in the meantime get a phone call. It's a telemarketer and I don't take the call, but now I'm side tracked from the dishes again. And on and on I'll go all day long. So, lists are essential for me to stay on track. And it works fabulously!
If you have trouble staying on track and getting things done, try writing it down. It will help keep your focus and you can look back at the end of the day and see that you actually did accomplish something because we all know those dishes won't stay done and that laundry won't stay clean and then you'll think you didn't do anything all day when you really did quite a lot!
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
We're hoping to have at least one cow and a huge garden in the spring. I am already planning my garden. ;) The Pioneer Woman is in the planning stages, too. I'm not sure I'm as ambitious as she is, but we'll see. I don't know if we'll get raised beds and such in this year. I'm thinking simple tilled rows and simple vegetables will be how we start at the new property. I don't want anything too involved that would require a lot of attention since we don't actually live there.
We'll most likely have a garden here, too. I will definitely grow some herbs. I've been learning to cook more and more with fresh herbs and I have to say I like it! I was pleasantly surprised to learn that even my picky eater enjoys fresh herbs. She particularly loves rosemary.
I am also looking forward to flowers. I have an insatiable and undying love for flowers. I think maybe because a few years ago my sister-in-law suggested I go to the grocery store to buy some cut flowers when I told her I was depressed. She said, "Spend five dollars on yourself and buy some flowers. It'll perk you up." And it did! Looking at those pretty flowers in the vase on my kitchen table did something I can't describe to my spirit and I was almost instantly happier. I should mention that it was the middle of winter. Cold, dreary, and dark! I'm not saying flowers will cure depression, but for me they brightened my world and now I'm hooked! There's nothing better than taking a walk around the yard in the Springtime to see tiny little flowers peeking out of the ground. Instant mood lifter!
I also have an issue to deal with this year. Our property used to be surrounded by pine trees on three sides until this past fall. One of the sides has the power lines and the trees were growing into the lines so they had to be cut down. It nearly sent me over the edge to see those beautiful trees have to go. So now I'm trying to figure out what to put in the bare space. We are putting up a privacy fence between us and the neighbors so I don't know if I want to add some trees on our side of the fence for extra privacy or maybe do a long flower garden along the fence line. Any suggestions?
Growing things is just so rewarding and I always look forward to the spring to plant some new things. During January in Virginia there isn't much to grow so I find myself wistfully dreaming of what's to come. I love when the seed catalogs start arriving! I know, I'm so weird. lol
Some of the things I'm hoping to grow this year are:
- Spinach, Swiss Chard
- Green Beans
I'm not sure yet what I'll add for flowers. I'm still thinking on that one!
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
I guess my days to tend to order themselves in some fashion but not how I would like. I find that without plan and purpose I spend a lot of time doing nothing. I am a world class procrastinator! Ha ha!
So with the New Year I find myself, once again, thinking about how I would like to order my life. God says to let all things be done decently and in order. As much as I fly by the seat of my pants I know that's not God's way and probably why it never works out in the end.
A couple of things I'm working on for the new year are getting up earlier, making a plan for meals, and at least making a plan for the day each morning.
Getting up early is not something I think everyone needs to do. I don't think one is lazy if they don't get up at the crack of dawn! Ha ha! But for me it's necessary. If I rise early it naturally starts my day on a better foot. I don't feel like I'm behind. I don't feel as though I've already lost most of the day. Maybe that's ingrained in me through my dad. Growing up he would come in my room early each day and say, "Rise and shine and face the day! You're going to sleep your life away!"
Jesus is a great example of an early riser and getting a jump start on the day. Mark 1:35 says, And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. Jesus is our ultimate example and he rose early and spent time in prayer. That's what I intend to do also. I've spent a good portion of my life rising early and I try, but am not always successful, to start the day with Scripture and Prayer. It's just been in recent years that I've gotten away from this habit.
Menu planning is another thing I'm working on. When I try to plan a menu it's sort of like putting a square peg in a round hole. It just doesn't work! But, again, I feel like I need this. I've thought it over and wondered if I should just give up on the whole idea and my answer is NO! My style of cooking is to cook what I'm in the mood to eat. Sounds good but it causes so many negative side effects. The main one being that more times than not I don't have anything thawed for supper. If I wait until time to cook to decide what I want then nothing is ready! Having a plan and having meat thawed and also knowing that I have all other ingredients really is key to operating smoothly at meal time.
Another draw back to the "fly by the seat of your pants" method is that I eat only what I want for that moment which, for me, leads to over eating. If I have been craving something all day and then make the extra effort to fix it you can bet that most likely I'm going to over eat! I'm not saying that meal planning will stop my over eating. What I'm saying is that by not cooking a "craved" meal every night then I probably wouldn't be inclined to eat as much. I hope. ;0)
Oh, I always spend the month of January in great thought. Spending lots of time thinking about all the things I want to change, fix, add, rearrange, do, not do, etc. in the coming year. I have never reached all my goals. But, I've reached some! Each year do a little more, a little better. Maybe a little less, if the situation calls for that! After all, isn't that what we're here for? To constantly change and aspire to be better and more like Jesus until God calls us home!
Monday, 3 January 2011
Today’s Journal is all about Winter and what you do to make your home warm, inviting, comfortable and the things you struggle with in the Winter.
In my Winter Kitchen…
Nothing too wintery going on in my kitchen at the moment. I'll be putting a beef tenderloin in the oven later. I was going to make bread earlier, but decided against it. I'm trying to be good. ;)
The hardest part about Winter for my household is ….
Getting up and down my driveway. It's a pretty steep hill and it's paved so when it snows it's very slick. We also get a good wind here and have a problem with the snow drifting even if my husband shovels.
My favorite Winter time meal is….
Chicken and dumplings. I don't think there's a more warming meal. And, I always associate it with good fellowship with my family. :)
I Do/Do Not (choose one) tend to be depressed in the Winter…..
I do tend to get a little down although, I find it's not as bad as when I was younger. I guess I've learned how to deal with it. I try to make sure if the sun is shining I'm taking full advantage!
A favorite Winter time activity my family enjoys is ….
Snuggling up on the couch with a drink, snack, and a good book!
To help my home look and feel inviting in the Winter….
I try to keep candles burning. I also try to keep everything clean. I think I can tend to be more of a clutter bug in the winter with too many books, blankets, pillows, etc. lying around.
How I dress to stay warm ……
I am a dressed to the shoes person. If I can keep my feet warm then I can stay warm all over so I fully dress including socks and shoes everyday.
One really important health rule for the Winter time I’d like to share ….
Winter time is usually cold and flu season so my big rule is hand washing! I am very vigilant about making sure I wash my hands frequently (and so do family members) and especially after "being out in the public".