Gratituesday

June 28, 2011 at 6:35 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday, my son and I took a road trip with a wrought iron sleigh bed strapped to the top of my 2000 Buick Rondevue.  We had some friends who wanted the bed frame, we wanted out of our house, I’m ALWAYS up for a road trip and this one was only about 2 hours, it was a win-win.

My car has issues.

1.  A few years ago the motor on the driver side window broke, the window is taped in place with purple duct tape.

2. The driver side door has other problems, you can’t use the handle to shut the door, you must use the edge up by the window.

3. The air conditioning is temperamental, it works when it feels like it which is lots of fun when coupled with issue #1.

4. There is no emergency brake, the brake cable broke a few weeks ago and Dear Hubby hasn’t fixed it yet.

5. The ABS is currently not working, broken sensor according to DH, which means that the all-wheel drive doesn’t work.  DH promises to get it fixed before winter when I’ll need it.

6. It’s started this popping noise when you crank the wheel for a tight turn.

7. I’ve been telling DH that the exhaust has gotten louder, I was sure there was a hole in the system somewhere.

Despite all this, DH and I decided the road trip was a good idea.

I know this doesn’t sound very gratituesdayish (is that a word) but stay with me.

The trip was going well, The Boy had fallen asleep, I had a new music album to listen to, John Mark McMillan “The Medicine”, I was enjoying my day….

Then the exhaust got REALLY loud.  Thankfully I was only about 20 min from our destination.

Once we got there, I got out of the car and bent over to look at the under carriage.

This is what I saw…..

What I am thankful for today is….

1. The fact that it happened just 20 min from where I needed to be.

2. I found a Monro Muffler shop just 3.7 mile away.

3. Said Monro was open until 7 pm, it was after 5pm.

4. The wonderful men at Monro were able to patch my exhaust back together with a new pipe to get me home today.

5. Just across a parking lot and empty lot, within easy walking was a Pizza Hut and an ice cream shop to feed and entertain The Boy.

6. The friends I was moving the bed for had an extra room with 2 twin beds for my son and I to sleep in.

7. There is a Dunkin Donuts close by so I could get some coffee.

8. The guys at Monro told me that as low as the muffler was hanging, it could have caught on a pot hole and been pushed beck through my gas tank.  SO THANKFUL that didn’t happen.

It was fun watching them try to get the car up on the lift.  The muffler hanging down kept getting caught on the rack and another man had to use a broom handle to reach under and hold it up as they drove the car on the lift.

In a few hours we will get in the car and drive the 2 hours home.  I’m thankful for God’s protection on the way down and I know He will protect us on the way home.

Then, DH will work toward getting it all fixed up for me because the next trip we take with it will be this Thanksgiving as we drive from Upstate New York to Arizona to spend the holidays with our family.  It must be in good working order by then.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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Twitter and Blogging

June 27, 2011 at 9:02 am (Thinking shift)

It’s official, Twitter and blogging are a major part of my life.  I dreamed about them last night.  It was a strange, I must have eaten something before bed, kind of dream.  I was staying at a luxury hotel (never done that) but when I got to my room I realized they had torn down the wall that adjoined my room with the parking garage and were using my room as an extension to the parking garage.  I went to the desk to complain and was told they were completely booked and couldn’t get me another room.  I stormed off shouting I was going to blog and twitter about this and they’d be sorry.

I didn’t have pizza last night, honest.  When I woke up this morning I got to thinking.  If someone had told me 6 years ago that technology would be this much a part of my life I would have laughed in their face.  At that time I had a basic cell phone and that was it. No computer, my TV was in a closet and only used once a week or so to watch a DVD. I had an email account that I checked maybe once a week, if I felt like it and I happened to be at my parents house or a library.  I was on eHarmony, thanks to my mother who signed me up in the middle of the night one night, but I only checked that about as often as I checked my email.

Now, I have a netbook, a laptop, a Droid X phone, a nook, we use the roku, and torrent downloads on the xBox, my 4-year-old son has an old droid loaded with his games for heaven sake!  I’m fully immersed in technology.

I try to “unplug” from time to time and re-engage with my artistic crafty self.  I am branching out with my quilting.  I’ve always wanted to do a more artistic quilt than the standard block format.  I’ve designed my own strip block quilt, based on the Fibernachi sequence, made a king size quilt and gave it to my sister-in-law for christmas.  But The Husband took a really cool picture of a storm we were having a few days ago and my first thought when I saw it was, “That would be a beautiful quilt”.  So, I’m going to give it a try.  Who knows maybe I’ll combine my artistic old school textile art with my new technological self and make enough art quilts to start my own Esty shop.

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No Umption

June 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm (Uncategorized)

I woke up this morning, honestly I was slightly hung over.  After having Gastric Bypass last October, I haven’t had much alcohol.  It’s not recommended right after surgery and I honestly wasn’t that big of a drinker pre-surgery.  But lately, hubby and I have been venturing into the world of wine.

Up until last night, I was very careful to keep to one small glass at one time.  Last night, Jim went up to do some stuff on the computer while I watched Big Bang Theory (he’s not a fan of sitcoms) and finished the 2 lines left on a baby blanket I was crocheting.  Baby blanket done and that’s another half-finished project I’ve picked up and finished recently, Woo Hoo!

So there I sat, finishing my blanket with an empty wine glass, I’d had one glass, and there was wine left in the bottle…

One glass, I barely feel any effects

One and a half glasses, I’m feeling good, enjoying wine and not drunk but happy juicy.

Two glasses, I had to text Jim to come help me up the stairs.  Now I know.

So today, I didn’t feel like doing much, and yet I got a lot done!

 

Cardboard neatly stacked on the back porch by the garbage.

Kitchen and dinning room vacuumed.

Kitchen cleaned up twice, dishes done.

A cake/cobbler baked.

Ranch cucumber onion salad made

one load of laundry washed/dried (still in the dryer)

quilt material ironed and separated into projects

lunch and dinner served

The Boy showered and cleaned up after he played in his sandbox for a few hours.

Oh and a blog post written and posted.

So a very productive day.

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Spray Paint

June 22, 2011 at 10:51 am (Uncategorized)

So I’m spray painting my old white wicker knock off furniture that came with the house 5 years ago and has seen better days.  We went to one of our favorite stores Monday night, Lowe’s, and bought some really cool retro lawn furniture

Garden Treasures Retro Yellow Double Glider

Garden Treasures Dining Patio Chair
I actually got the chairs in the yellow and the glider in the green, along with the white end table and a child’s chair in green.
These and a nice fire pit were our major purchases of the evening.
UniFlame 34" Steel Firepit with Slate Tile Surround
The fire pit will go in the back yard and the new furniture on our wrap around front porch.  All old front porch furniture is getting a new coat of paint in either the green or the yellow and will go around the fire pit.
I’ve only gotten 3 of the 5 chairs painted and my arm is killing me.  Seriously, why didn’t I think to get one of those handy little spray can comfort nozzle handles?!?
Rust-Oleum Comfort Spray Grip
I’m going to Lowe’s today, I don’t care if it’s a 20 minute drive!  I’m getting one of these puppies for $6.29 and then I’ll tackle the other 3 chairs and love seat, did I mention the love seat?
Maybe next week I can do something about the weeds.  Or maybe I’ll just move my nice newly painted chair to the side of the fire pit turn my back to my weeds and face my neighbors nice manicured lawn.

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They are always watching and learning.

June 20, 2011 at 11:30 am (Uncategorized)

I read a post this morning by The Diaper Diaries.  It really got me to thinking.  I’ve always tried to give Jim room to be the Dad he is and let them do things their way even if it was different from my way.  I must confess, however, to sometimes saying things that, if I was honest, would have sent me over the moon angry if they had been directed to me.

The other part that held some conviction for me was when she talked about God calling her friend out on teaching the kids disrespect by being disrespectful herself.  Ouch.  I haven’t noticed my son talking disrespectful but I do see his reactions and attitudes reflecting mine. Sometimes it’s not pretty and I’m convicted to try to change not only his reactions but first, my own.  Only if I change first do I have any hope of effecting a change in him.

I’m also reading a book by Marla Taviano, “Is That All He Thinks About?  How to Enjoy Great Sex with Your Husband.  I’ll be honest, I’m in a VERY dry spell.  I’m not only not interested in any marital relations, I’m really not feeling up to even cuddling, I just don’t want to be touched.  Not by my husband, not by my son, not even or maybe especially not by our dog.  I’ve always had sensory issues.  My parents tell me they used to have to wait until I was asleep to hold me, I just didn’t like to be held even as an infant.  But, God gave me a husband whose primary love language is touch.  WHY?!?!?!

Because I need to change.

He does that you know, that’s one of the reasons for marriage.  You help each other become who God wants you to be.  No matter what we may think, we always have some growing to do.

I sent my husband the link to her other book, “The Husbands Guide to Getting Lucky” I told him I wanted to read the one for wives, turn about is fair and all that.

I love the way Marla writes, just as if she’s sitting across from you talking, and she doesn’t pull any punches.

There was one part in the very first few pages that really hit me where I lived….

When she prayed about wanting her husband to change before she’d meet his sexual needs, God convicted her of conditional love at its worst.  Ouch.

She quotes 1 Corinthians 7:4

“The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality – the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband.  Marriage is not a place to “stand up for your rights.”  Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out.”

She goes on to put it this way…

“…sex is more than something you do or don’t do as you feel like it.  It’s an explicit command from our Creator.”

“…If God commands me to have sex with my husband and I don’t want to, does that mean I have a rebellious – a sinful – attitude?”

Oh dear, rebellion.

I would recommend this book to every wife who struggles in this area.

I’m still struggling, and my husband is wonderfully patient.  I have issues, I was molested as a child, but I can’t use that as an excuse and refuse to seek healing in this area, not if I want my marriage to be healthy and strong.  Not if I want my children to grow up and have healthy, strong marriages.  They are always learning, even when we think they aren’t even watching….

 

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WFMW – Thrifty Cleansing

June 15, 2011 at 8:25 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve been promising my friend who has a Thrifty Sister newsletter she sends out among a few friends that I would get this post written. I gave her a titillating preview of “Thrifty” personal hygiene, so I should get this completed.

The truth is I’ve been afraid to put it into writing what I’ve been experimenting with. Many will think it’s gross, yet it has been a wonderful experience and I’m very happy with the result.

We here in the West however, have been programmed to expect certain things from ourselves and others in the personal hygiene arena.

Western thinking encourages daily showers and shampoo. I had a hairdresser tell me you must shampoo twice and condition twice, every day to have healthy hair. Why then, when I followed those instructions did my hair resemble hay and straw? My scalp was dry and itchy, dandruff that those special medicated shampoos did nothing for, and don’t get me started on the amount of leave in conditioners and anti frizz products I was putting on and then washing off the next day only to put them in my hair again.

Something wasn’t working. I had to find a different way.

Add to my “hair issues” the fact that I should have had stock in Suave and Lubraderm. I went through so much lotion! If I was African-American you would have called my skin ashy. VERY dry and flaky, I itched constantly and I was applying tons of lotion.

Again, something had to be wrong. I started slathering myself in baby oil before each shower. That seemed to help but not fix the problem.

Then I ran across an article on Parent Hacks.   A mother was having trouble with her little girl letting her wash rinse repeat and condition her very tanglie hair. The 3 in ones didn’t work so she started just conditioning, no shampooing. What she found was that it worked. Her daughter’s hair was manageable and easy to comb. It never looked greasie and since she was only conditioning then rinsing, fighting stopped.

Thus began my first experiment. Conditioning only.

Worked well. The itchy scalp went away. The dandruff went away. The need for all those leave in products went away!

Then I stumbled across this blog…Sorta Crunchy

Shampoo free. Or Poo-free as they termed it.

I decided to try it.

And it works!

My hair has never been more manageable.

I took it a step further. I use only water. That’s right just water.

I spend the same amount of time under the shower spray massaging my scalp and rinsing my hair as if I was massaging in shampoo and rinsing, but without anything but water. Only if I go swimming in a chlorinated pool do I use the baking soda and Apple Cider vinegar to get out the chlorine.

I’ve been doing this since February, water only since March 2011. I did have about a week where I was slightly oily and I just pulled it back into a bun and let it be.

You can’t get much more thrifty than free.

No shampoo to buy, no conditioner to buy, no leaving products to buy. I do have a can of spray coconut oil that I spray lightly after I get out of the shower, that’s it.

Here’s another link to Sorta Crunchy, with an update of how it worked for her.

Here’s another take on it. This time from The Herbwife’s Kitchen.

I went cold turkey not the gentle way she suggests.

I do use a natural bristle hair brush, $5 at walmart in the ethnic hair care section.

I brush at night, use a large tooth comb in the morning and I “wash” twice a week. More on that in a minute.

I love my hair, I no longer feel like I am fighting it. The day I shower, I towel dry, spray a little coconut oil and comb my hair. That’s it, I let it air dry, the curls are well-defined and look lovely. That night comb with the large tooth comb and pull it back into a low pony tail for sleeping, it’s past my shoulders and I hate to feel it around my neck as I sleep. The next day I comb and fluff it back out a bit, maybe wetting my hands with water and running them through to bring the curl back out. That night, brush with my natural bristle brush to pull my natural scalp oils to the ends, pull back into low pony tail for sleep. The next day I usually bush it and leave it in a pony tail/loose bun. “Wash” again the 3rd day.

Shower days are usually Wednesday and Saturday. I started the Oil Face Washing Method I found on Sorta crunchy, can you tell I love her site?

I started with equal parts castor oil, Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil. I also find I need more moisturizer so I added avocado oil as a moisturizer. I only “wash” my face with my triple oil “cleanser” on shower days. I slather on the oil and cover my face with a nice hot wash cloth ala old-fashioned barber shave style then when the cloth cools I use it to wipe off the excess oil.

Another blog on OCM by Aisha Wood.

After doing both the shampoo free and the OCM on my face I began to wonder if this wasn’t the answer to my lotion addiction as well. I decided to experiment a little on my own and in a soap dispenser I placed a 50/50 mix of olive oil and castor oil and began to apply that all over before stepping into the shower.

After steaming my face and “washing” my hair I take a loofah and scrub off the excess olive/caster oil.

That’s it.

Lest you think I am able to do this because I never sweat, never fear, I do.  I go to Curves 3 times a week (well, that’s what I try to do) and I’m getting back into running, and I do clean my house and work up a sweat.  However, what causes the smell is bacteria on the skin mixing with the sweat.  I’m beginning to think that the OCM keeps that bacteria low because even when I sweat, it doesn’t seem to smell bad.  It used to be that after a workout I had to get into the shower quick because I couldn’t stand to smell myself.  Now, Jim tells me that I never have that B.O. smell.  Last week when I had the flu with chills and cold sweats I could smell an odor, but I chalk, that up to sick sweat.

I buy the olive oil by the gallon at BJ’s, that’s a wholesale warehouse, Sam’s club type store. The castor oil I buy from my local natural foods store as well as the grapeseed, jojoba, and avocado oils.

The avocado I actually buy the cooking quality, not the cosmetic quality of, both are cold pressed and as far as I can tell, identical except the food quality bottle is cheaper by the ounce.

I’m not sure what I actually spend a month on the oils. I have only bought one bottle of each so far and I haven’t run out yet.

I do know that I’m not spending near as much as I was on personal hygiene products and my hair and skin feel and look SO much better that even if this wasn’t a “thrifty” option, it would still be my option.

So there’s what I do. You may not be willing to try it, you may think me weird for doing it, but, it works VERY well for me.

Linked up to We are THAT Family, Works For Me Wednesday

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Be Kind

June 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm (Uncategorized)

Wednesday there will be a very long post here that I plan on linking up with Gypsy Mamas Works For Me Wednesday.  I’m a little apprehensive about the post as it will really be putting myself out there for criticism.

I’m afraid of what people are going to think of me.

Yet, as the link at Gypsy Mama suggests, it’s something that works for me. It works well for me.  I’m very happy with what I’m doing, so why do I care what people think?

Because I have been brought up to worry about what people think.  My whole life has been, “Don’t do that, what will your dad’s church members think?”

A friend of mine posted a quote from Dr. Seuss as her Facebook status the other day.

‎”Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

When will I truly begin to believe this.  It’s true.

So, if you don’t mind, I’m going to be who I am on Wednesday.

Your reaction to it is your reaction to it and it’s not going to rule my day.

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I Want To Run Away

June 10, 2011 at 7:45 am (Uncategorized)

I’m considering taking a weekend off.  We have a camp ground in the area that has cabins.  I’m thinking of booking one for a whole weekend, just for me.  Take my coffee pot, some protein bars and shakes, my Bible and some worship music.

I feel like I’m a big balloon full of anger and it doesn’t take much for me to pop.  I don’t like living that way, I need some time of refreshing and to allow God to deal with whatever the root cause of this anger is.

I think if we were all more honest with ourselves, we’d all agree we need time to recharge.  That looks different for each of us, but we all must allow God to pour into us if we are going to keep pouring out.  I think my need for a whole weekend stems from many years of not taking those small refreshing breaks.  Many years of pushing down the anger that rose up in many little situations.  Not dealing with things God would bring to the surface.  It’s time to deal with them.  Truly deal with them.  Before I explode all over some unsuspecting person who pokes me with a sharp stick.

 

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Grateful Heart

June 7, 2011 at 9:56 am (Uncategorized)

A few of my blogging friends are doing a list of what all they are grateful for.  Some have set a goal of 100 or 1,000.  I’ve decided to join them.

The Bible says to count your blessings so here goes…

1. A wonderful husband who loves me more and more every day, or so he tells me.  🙂

2. A son who can drive me crazy, but is still my miracle boy.

3. A doctor who knew when to make the hard call for a very necessary C-section to save my son.

4. Coffee, lots of coffee

5. The blessing of sponsoring a child through Compassion.

6. A house to call home.

7. The right to have many Bibles openly displayed and available to read at my fingertips.

8. Technology that allows me to connect with others all over the world.

9. An abundance of material to use to make quilts simply because I enjoy the process.

10. Food in my pantry, enough to feed my family for quite a while should the unthinkable happen.

It’s amazing how simple it is once you get started, there are more but I think I will limit myself to 10 at a sitting.  We all have so much to be thankful for.  It’s so much easier to look at all the negative in our life we crowd out the good.  I’m going to make a concentrated effort to look at the positive.  Life’s  so much more enjoyable that way.

Linked to Gratituseday over on Heavenly Homemakers.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

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Hello again

June 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm (Housework)

It’s been awhile, I know, I’m sorry.

May was a crazy month, add a little bit of depression to that and well, that’s just the way it goes.

I spent most of May doped up on allergy medication.  I was on 5, count them FIVE, different allergy meds just to be able to breathe.  Not fun.

Also in May, my baby brother (who is now 31 and possible not wanting to be called baby brother anymore) graduated medical school and earned the title Captain Bingham with the Army all in the same day.  Since we only live about 7 hours away we of course were there to see it in person.  So glad I went.  Mom and Dad live on the other side of the country and mom’s health is such that they were unable to come.  I’m glad we could.

We rented a condo outside of DC for a LOT less than we could have gotten a hotel and stayed a full week, sight-seeing and running around.  It was a very nice vacation and I wasn’t allergic to anything down there so I was able to come off my meds.  YEAH!  Haven’t had to go back on them since we’ve been home either, but Hubby has.  Whatever I was allergic to left and now it’s his turn I guess.

I’m now trying to get back into my schedule and take back my house that got out of control while I was drugged.  So far, I’ve reclaimed the kitchen and my sewing/prayer/den room.  Next is the toyroom/TV room and then I’ll tackle the mounds of clothes to donate piled around our bedroom.

It never ends.

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