Thursday, October 22, 2009

Still Ironing Around Here...

...see my previous post.

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and where I want it to go. Does it need a focus, or do I want to just leave it as is--a place for my miscellaneous ramblings?

There are so many fabulously written blogs on every subject under the sun, written by people far more knowledgeble than I in those areas. I'm interested in many things, and I know a lot about a lot of things, but I don't have any new revelations or knowledge to impart that isn't already out there somewhere. Not that I have a need to be unique, but I don't want to be redundant. Hence my leanings toward allowing my blog to sort of evolve as it will and simply be an exercise in creative writing in favor of devoting it to a certain subject.

And my shop...I would love to see it take off but for that to happen there needs to be merchandise, and traffic! Two out of two of those are seriously lacking. The traffic will come as I travel around the bloggy world and get my name around, and the merchandise will come as I get busy again at my sewing machine (see my previous post...again!) Both factors are on the back burner for now. Simmering, soon to be served, but not yet.

I mentioned that I put in my two weeks notice at work. I have one week left and it seems that my manager is going to get all he can out of me for that last week. I'm supposed to have only fifteen hours a week and he scheduled me for close to twice that. Not sure if I'm going to say anything about it or just let it slide, knowing it's my last week.

My point is this: my blog is going to have to be on hiatus for a little while longer until I can get myself under control and refocus on the important things in life. A reboot of sorts. Lots of areas of my life are slipping and it's because I have allowed myself to get too busy. I need to focus again on my daily prayer time, daily work outs (gotta shed this poundage!), refocus on my son's school curriculum and lesson plans, figure out what direction to take or not take with this blog, and generally get my house in order. I'll be popping in and out, and my plan is to get back to regular posting sooner rather than later, but for now I'm pretty much hit and miss.

Basically, it's time to reboot my life! I find I have to do that every once in a while and then things function smoothly! :-) Thank God for His mercies that are new every morning!

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."
                                                            -Lamentations 3:22-25

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In Which I Iron

Aren't these old irons cool? ( it? I didn't notice that until I wrote it.


Lots of stuff going on lately so I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like. I'm putting in two weeks notice at my part time job was a decision that I was going back and forth on for a while, but I decided to do it for several reasons. It will free up more time for me to spend here, with you all, among other things! I won't wait the full two weeks before I post again, but please bear with me as I get my priorities ironed out! guys rock!

Photo credit:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Proverbs 31 Woman

Below is a copy of a great article written by a dear friend of mine named Donna who doesn't blog. She wrote it for a newsletter to which she contributes regularly, and gave me permission to post it here. It's a bit lengthy, but it inspired me and spoke to my heart and I wanted to share it here. Enjoy!

First Lady and Virtuous woman (Sue Abigail was never in the white house. Dolly Madison was the first one to live there in the early 1800’s.

A woman of valor who can find for her price is far above rubies.  Proverbs 31:10-31 How many young men are looking for this woman for their bride?

In their book Her works Praise Her, Hasia R. Diner and Beryl Lieff Benderly Use the Sabbath Evening Liturgy  as an introduction to their  history of Jewish women in America. “She need not be beautiful, for ‘grace is deceitful and beauty is vain.’ Rather, she serves her family, and her husband ‘doth safely trust in her.’ “ 

Fortunately for John Adams our 2nd president, Abigail was both beautiful and a virtuous woman. She exemplified the Proverbs 31 woman. David McCullough in his book on John Adams reveals much about Abigail as well. He said “Where others might see a stout bluff little man, she saw a giant of great heart, and so it was ever to be.” Her belief in him isn’t the only thing that helped him to fulfill his destiny. Apparently although she was consistently cheerful she also told John he was too severe in his judgments of people. In a letter to her before they were married he said of her that she “shall polish and refine my sentiments of life and manners, banish all the unsocial and ill natured particles in my composition.” She did have a “beneficial and steadying influence on him” I believe that a woman’s influence on her husband can make him a better man or it can cause him to lose his confidence and make him an angry man. John’s heart trusted in Abigail. Can your husband trust in you? What kind of influence are you having on him? Is it making him a better person?

Abigail Adams set an example for modern women to follow. David McCullough made this telling statement about Abigail. “He (John) prized the Roman ideal of honor, and in this, as in much else; he and Abigail were in perfect accord. Fame without honor, in her view, would be ‘like a faint meteor gliding through the sky, shedding only transient light.’ ” Isn’t that the ideal God desires for marriage, for us to be in perfect accord.

 “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” John and Abigail’s separations, lasting months at a time had become extremely difficult for her. In November of 1775 with winter fast approaching she wrote to John “I hope I shall not be obliged to spend it without my dearest friend… I have been like a nun in a cloister ever since you went away.” Yet she was determined that he play his part. “You cannot be, I know nor do I wish to see you an inactive spectator.” Abigail’s sister Mercy urged her own husband to resign his commission as a general rather than serve outside New England. But Abigail when Adams rode away on a winter day for another session of Congress in Philadelphia wrote to Mercy “I had it in my heart to dissuade him from going and I know I could have prevailed, but our public affairs at the time wore so gloomy an aspect that I thought if ever his assistance was wanted, it must be at such a time. I therefore resigned myself to suffer some anxiety and many melancholy hours for this year to come.” Abigail believed her husband’s abilities would benefit the country so she sacrificed her own desires and released him to his destiny. She spent many more years deprived of his presence and help on the farm before he finally retired.   In the winter of 1777 she was pregnant and house bound by much snow with 5 children when she wrote to John who had been in Baltimore for months, “Posterity who are to reap the blessings will scarcely be able to conceive the hardships and sufferings of their ancestors.” 

Like the Proverbs 31 woman who “works willingly with her hands” Abigail was a hard worker. McCullough says Abigail “did her own cooking by the open hearth; she spun and wove clothes for their everyday use. McCullough said that though she had a sheltered and bookish upbringing, she was to prove every bit as hard working as he and no less conscientious about whatever she undertook. She rose at 5 in the morning and was seldom idle. All her life she would do her own sewing, baking, feed her own ducks and chickens, and churn her own butter.” And I thought my life was busy.

She provides meat for her household and portion for her maidens
When the war brought on rampant inflation and shortages of every necessity it made the day to day struggle increasingly difficult. But she scrimped and saved to stay free of debt. Instead of complaining she said “I believe nature has assigned each sex its particular duties and sphere of action and to act well your part, ‘there all the honor lies.’” I greatly admire her strength of character and spirit. In July 1778 she wrote to tell John that the baby girl they both wanted had been still born. Only a week later she reported in her letter to John” The corn looks well and the English grain promising. We cannot be sufficiently thankful to a bountiful Providence (God) that the horrors of famine are not added to those of war.”

John and Abigail both had a devout faith and Christian ethic. They were very much in love and remained devoted to one another despite years of separations. Occasionally Abigail accompanied her husband but the greater part of the time she did not. She stayed at home assuming all the responsibility of the farm and her family by herself. When they were separated she encouraged her husband in letters. Their many letters to one another give us great insight into their character today. Before reading this book I didn’t really understand what a very large role John Adams played in the founding of our country. He truly was a great man, but I wonder if he would have achieved as much without Abigail’s sacrifice, diligence, and encouragement. She was truly a helpmeet to her husband.

Reading about great Christian in history has brought a different perspective to my life that this narcissistic age does not afford, and I believe it has caused me to be a more well-grounded Christian. Look for some of the recommended titles in the sidebar at your library or online. They will enrich your life and your Christian walk.

Recommended Reading
Abigail Adams was an avid reader and could converse with the men of her day.
Reading is so important because it gives us a better perspective on life in today’s sound byte generation. Biographies of great women like Abigail Adams can inspire us to support and encourage our own husbands. I highly recommend reading biographies of great historical figures to your young children as well.

More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Arizona Women by Wynne L. Brown 
This small book is a collection of short biographies and really an interesting read.
The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey
A fascinating true story depicting the people and culture of New Orleans in the early 1800's.
Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser
This is a fictional story based on her letters.
A is for Abigail Adams: An Almanac of Amazing American Women by Lynn Cheney
A children's book with short descriptions of women in American history.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Free Ad for Your Favorite Coffee Place!

Aaaaacccckkkk! The electricity is out, which means no internet. I'm in S'bucks for now, and I have 20 minutes left. I hope the power is back on when we get home...I have a fridge and freezer full of food I'm concerned about. I JUST finished shopping for the week when the power went out. We've been having lots of rain and wind and I don't know if the weather has anything to do with it. It's been like that since last night, though. Well. Whatever. Here's hoping we're back in business soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In Which My Muse Goes on Vacation

So. I have nothing. Nada. Zip. My muse must be on vacation. I'm so sorry...several of you have been checking up on me daily and I apologize for not having something groovy and captivating and entertaining for you. Not that I often do have that kind of groove thing going on, but hey! I for sure don't have it going on right now!

The moon looked amazing the other night. The picture doesn't do it justice, but it was beautiful and super bright through a break in the clouds. Just thought I'd throw that in there to justify posting the picture because what's a blog post without a picture? Lack of content must be made up for somehow, even if it's in low quality pictures.

Sigh. I hope the muse comes back soon.

Same old stuff going on around here...working out, house-y stuff, some sewing and I have some inspiration for the shop, but I have yet to get that inspiration from my head to my sewing machine to the shop...soon though. I'm working part time at my local craft store to support my habit and because the fall season is fully upon us with it's assorted holidays things are picking up and I'm getting more hours. Still part time, very part time, but for this SAHM it's a big switch! Love it though. I have to prioritize and do a lot of mundane things like grocery shop when I would much rather take a nap but such is life. My hat is so off to wives and moms who work full time. I can't even imagine the kind of time constraints and pressures you are under!

So. The shefflera is behaving itself. I posted about the battle on my facebook page and a friend commented that maybe I should learn not to open an umbrella (tree) in the house as it usually causes problems of one sort or another. The new hat continues to fit well with no alterations, so far anyway. In other news my tomatoes and strawberries are putting out sets. What's up with that? I think they are confused. I doubt anything yummy will come from it though. It's getting too cold at night now, I think, though we are having glorious days. In yet other news, my son is preaching in church tomorrow morning. My husband will be away for that service and asked our son to fill in. It's not the first time he's preached the service, but it's the first time for a Sunday morning. He's a little nervous, but he's well prepared so I'm sure all will go well. I think it's good to be a little nervous sometimes...reminds us Who is in charge!

Anyhoo...just wanted to check in, and thank you for checking back. More to come soon. The muse must be here somewhere. She doesn't usually disappear for long. I just hope she hasn't gone to Hawaii or somewhere with sand, sea, and sun. I will be most jealous.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Attack of the Killer Schefflera or I Heart Freecycle. Choose Your Own Title.

Good news! I didn't have any problem with the accounting! The real test will come next month when I have to do it by myself, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. Add another hat to the collection! Thank God He is strong when we are not! Accounting and I do NOT get along and I don't think we ever will, but with God's help I will get the job done!

I will be needing a filing cabinet to house the various paperwork and receipts to which I will have to refer each month, also useful for my home schooling stuff which currently lives in a box under my desk, so I advertised on Freecycle to see if anyone had any laying around. Don't you have extra filing cabinets just taking up space in your living room? I didn't think so. I don't either. But apparently lots of folks do. I scored two, two drawer ones that are red to boot! My kitchen and desk area is black and red (or will be when I finish implementing all my decorating ideas!) so these will fit right in. Woohoo!  I'll pick those up tomorrow afternoon.

I even had time today to launch my assault on the garage. (See my previous post AGAIN and you'll know what I'm talking about. I won't link to it a third time to spare you.) I listed all the Christmas stuff from that weird warehouse (same post again if you don't know what I'm talking about) on Freecycle and had a few responses right off the bat. A very nice lady named June is coming early in the morning to pick it all up, and she's even giving me some extra twinkly lights that she has laying around to boot. Woohoo! Scored on that one. I also had some quick responses when I listed a chair that I don't want. Anne wins the chair (no, not you, Anne, I'm so sorry, another Anne!) so she'll be coming to pick that up. Anne, not the winner of the chair, the other one is a friend who reads here. At least I like to flatter myself that she does.


I had a very productive day after all, and finished it off by being attacked by the killer schefflera. It used to be a very nice plant but it got a little out of hand and I had to remind it's who's in charge around here. It's a tree, really. I had it in the living room and we were very happy together but my husband hated it. It was kind of in the way, I have to admit, so I moved it to an unused corner of our bedroom. The poor thing was naked, though, so I adorned it with some of the previously mentioned white Christmas lights (the ones that came from that weird warehouse). I was standing on a chair, trying to clothe the thing when it grabbed me and tangled me up in it's branches. There I was, helplessly balanced on a chair, being eaten alive by it's upper branches and the string of lights that was innocently standing by. I was too quick for it, though. I snapped off the top branches since they were too tall and bending over under the ceiling anyway. Hah! My self defense tactics took it by surprise and I was able to subdue it into submission. I will force it to grow out instead of up! I win. Muuwaaaahahah!

I'm not happy with the way the lights look though. Too many wires hanging out. I think it needs a longer length. Hello? Freecycle? Do you have any long strings of lights? You do? Great! I'll be right over to pick them up.

I heart Freecycle! More than Craig's List, if the truth be told.

In Which I Prepare to Add A New Hat

I wear many hats. Most wives and moms do. Mom, wife, nurse, chef, chauffeur, counselor, teacher, and that doesn't even scrape the surface. Lately I've been trading hats pretty frequently and the most recent one is that of janitor. In the six months we've lived in this house we have managed to amass far more junk and stuff than should be allowed. I'll never understand how that happens. It must reproduce on it's own when we're not looking, and it's really starting to get under my skin and irritate me. I hate that unorganized cluttered feeling. I don't want it in my house because from there it tries to invade my mind and lately it's been successful.

I put on my janitor hat and started clearing out the garage today. For months it's been irritating me super duper a LOT! To the point where I've been getting annoyed and short tempered just looking at it. It's at one end of the house and I figure I'll start there and over the next few weeks work my way through the entire house to the other end doing little decorating projects I have in mind and clearing out unwanted clutter. "Excellent plan," I congratulated myself on getting motivated instead of getting annoyed.

Anyway, I started on the garage. The garage in our house had been made into a rec-room sort of area many years ago before we even knew this house existed, but it has been more of a storage room than anything else since we moved in. The foosball table and mini-pool table are crowded out by assorted junk and stuff. I had an old but functioning full sized fridge out there that I was able to unload painlessly on Craig's List. Yay! Our daughters have some boxes containing the remnants of their childhoods stored along one wall and they have been able to go through them on various visits so those boxes are dwindling, which is a good thing. (Confession: I have confiscated a few of those remnants to sustain my own cherised memories!) I have an old desk that was my grandmother's (not going on Craig's List!) and some boxes of mementos that I want to keep but don't want to display stashed in a corner. I need to find a place for those things, and others but the worst problem out there is that I collected a bunch of Christmas decorations (hello again, Craig's List) that I don't know what to do with. Some woman was getting rid of literally a warehouse full of stuff and she had probably five or six full car loads of just Christmas decorations.

After looking around in that warehouse I decided she was definitely certifiable. I mean, what kind of private person (not a retailer or seller) has a whole warehouse of junk including a nearly infinite amount of Christmas stuff...much of it brand new?  And not just your regular junk. Bizarre and weird things. But that's another post.

I was looking for a zillion strings of lights because my husband is inspired to make our house some kind of electric wonderland this year. For some reason he's interested in outdoor Christmas decorating for the first time in our 25 years of marriage. I have no idea what sparked his interest, but whatever! I'm into it. It'll be fun.

Where was I? Oh yeah. That weird warehouse. I scored these bazillion strings of lights but part of the deal was that this woman wanted me to take all the other decorations too. I declined the extra carloads, but out of some misplaced sense of obligation I did load up with one trip's worth of greenery, Santa hats, wreaths, trims, bells and other holiday sundries. Now, don't get me wrong: I LOVE to decorate for Christmas. It's just that I don't really have a need for 27 wreaths. No kidding. Twenty seven. One of them is about four feet in diameter. It must have come from a department store display or something. It also looks like someone tried to fold it in half for some reason and it's all kind of mangled and wonky. point...I do have point is that I set aside all the lights and I now have several very large garbage bags of Christmas cheer to get rid of. Once I find a home for all that stuff (anywhere...I don't care! I just need it gone! It's making me crazy! Hello again, Craig's List) I will be able to organize the rec room and finally feel like I've accomplished something productive. It will be a good start on the productivity thing.

I said all this to say that I had planned to dedicate the whole day tomorrow to getting my garage, and thus my life, in order. I just knew that once the foosball table is pulled away from the wall into a usable position, the weights and workout equipment is tidied up, the chairs are distributed attractively, and the boxes and extra furniture are removed to the "official" storage room (at the opposite end of the house...I shudder to think what that place will be like when I've finished going through the whole house!) and the whole place well vacuumed--I just knew that THEN I would feel settled, unruffled, calm, and peaceful. Forever. It's the key to life. It's all I need for happiness.


Even the best laid plans can go awry. This evening my husband asked me to take over the accounting for the church that we pastor and he wants to dedicate tomorrow to training me. This, too, is fodder for an independent blog post, but suffice to say that accounting is NOT my forte and there is a REASON why my husband has been doing it and not I, and it's not because he wanted to! I love that he wants me to help him and I truly want to relieve some of the load he carries but seriously? The accounting? And tomorrow? I guess the garage will have to wait another day or two. It doesn't really's been that way for months already! I just hope I can keep all that clutter and junk from toying with my mind because I will need all my faculties and I will need them fully functional tomorrow if I can ever hope to successfully "get it" with the accounting.

So I will be attempting to add an accountant's hat to my vast collection.

Photo credit:

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Check It Out!

Check out this very cool giveaway! I LOOVE this skirt! I wonder if it's too young for me? .....nah! The whole clothing line is very cute! Modest but not old-ladyish, appropriate for church or for casual or for going out to dinner, and the prices are great! Check out this post for details about the giveaway. The whole blog is a good read too.

Photo credit:

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Signs of Fall.....

...are all over the yard. We have some groovy cobwebs going on but I haven't been able to get a good shot of them. I have taken other pictures though:

Mushrooms pop up overnight in the grass. Mmmm. Sauteed in garlic butter. NOT! I'll get my sautee-ing mushrooms at the store, thank you.

Pine cones fall from the trees that overhang the back fence.

Some kind of weird fungus thing is growing on the back side of an old tree trunk.

The ivy is turning red. 

The apples are getting ripe.

The strawberry plant is putting out sets and bearing fruit.

Wait. Whaaaat?