Thursday, 20 January 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for a sink that's broken. Because attached to that broken sink is a beautiful silestone counter top. Attached to that counter top are walls to a warm and cozy home. And inside that warm and cozy home are people I love.

The End.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Homekeeper's Journal

I just love doing these posts. Visit Christian Homekeeper to participate!

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.

Home …
Makes me happy. I adore being home and having people in my home.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Tried and Tested... and Failing

We're having some kitchen issues... and I'm not handling it in the meek and quiet spirit that I would like.

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

Sweet Happenings...

I was at Kristin's Thursday night helping her get the bed made up for the baby. She opened up a new hamper she got as a shower gift and started putting all the blankets in it that she wants to wash. As she was putting them in I spotted one that looked familiar and I told her I had a blanket just like that for her and Katie when they were babies. I said it even had the same fringe on it and everything. She said, "I know. This is it." I just looked at it and got teary eyed and said, "No it's not!" She assured me that it was. A year ago when she got married and was packing up her things to move it was in with some other blankets so she took it with her. (Not knowing how soon she would need it! )She plans to wash it and use it to wrap the baby in the hospital and have him lay on it for his newborn pictures at the hospital. It was a special moment for me to have her want to wrap her baby in the same blanket I wrapped her in. It's tattered and worn (went through 2 girls and is 24 years old!) but it's very special.

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

Homekeeper's Journal

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

Thoughts for the Day

Last night I finished reading The Thorn by Beverly Lewis. Beverly writes Amish fiction and I love all of her books.

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

Light Day

I don't have much going on here today. I'm getting my hair done this morning. I have to say that excites me a little more than it probably should. I haven't had it done since October so I'm due.

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

List Mania!

I have a confession. I'm a list maker.

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

Speaking of planning...

My husband and I purchased 15 acres of land recently. There are 37 acres in the tract we bought from and, Lord willing, we hope to buy it all at some point.

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:
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Spinach, Swiss Chard
  • Turnips
  • Green Beans
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Chives
  • Cilantro

I'm not sure yet what I'll add for flowers. I'm still thinking on that one!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Goals, routines, plans, etc.

Routines are something that I struggle with. I didn't used to. It's just been in recent years since my husband started his own business and stopped punching a time clock that my days have gone willy nilly! My children are now grown and doing their own thing and I'm left to figure out how I want to organize a day for myself. I find that I am not one to naturally be in a routine, but yet I thrive best when I'm in a routine.

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

Homekeeper's Journal

Sylvia at Christian Homekeeper has started her Homekeepers Journal again. I'm happy to participate!

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".


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