Saturday, September 29, 2012

Getting It Done: Update

Not a great week for the To Do list.  But in my defense, I was sick with a head cold for a couple of days and didn't feel like doing much. 

To Do List for September 24 - 28

  • Give dining room a thorough cleaning 
  • Write 
  • Finish book before it is due Tuesday! 
  • Work on Queen B's Busy Work custom order 
  • Get more new items up on Queen B's Busy Work 
  • Go to Man of the House's softball game 
  • Attend women's Bible study 
  • Attend James McDonald Vertical Church Tour 
  • Give myself a manicure 
  • Organize something (anything!) in craft area 
  • Organize coupons

Friday, September 28, 2012

Challenge Me!!

I enjoyed challenging myself to the Seven Days Without Coffee and documenting the process very much.  So much, that I'm already thinking ahead to the next challenge!  I have a few ideas of my own; such as 7 Days Without Sugar, 30 Days of Exercise, or 7 Days Without Gluten.  But I could use your help! 

What should I challenge myself to next?

Please leave your reasonable challenge ideas in the comments.  

Spiderlegs: The Follow Friday Four Fill-in

TGIF! Which means it's time again for the Follow Friday Four Fill In Blog Hop! Each week, Feeling Beachie gives us four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.
Want to be featured as a Co-Host to the hop? Come up with four fill in’s of your own and email them to her at If she uses them, you get a nice little mention in that weeks hop! Please help her out and email some statements! This week’s co-host is Ali from Daughter-in-Law Diaries  she came up with the last two statements.

Since Feeling Beachie is sharing with us - it's only fair that we share also!  Please be sure to tweet, facebook, etc about the Follow Friday blog hop. If you tweet, please use #f5-bloghop And add the little linky tool there at the bottom to your own blog if you participate!

This week’s statements:

1. when I was little I was called ___
2. ___are my favorite candy
3. If I could have one magical power it would be______
4. If I could go back to school it would be to become a _________

My Responses:
1. When I was little I was called Spiderlegs by my dad because my legs were so skinny and long for my body.
2. Peanut butter cups are my favorite candy and I can't eat them anymore! :0(
3. If I could have one magical power it would be flight.  Or maybe time travel!4. If I could go back to school it would be to become a (if I had a good response to this - I would probably be in school!)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday: September 27

Thursday is the day when I pause to take a few minutes and just soak in all the blessings which have been poured over me during the past week.

This week I am thankful for:

The Man of the House: For bringing me Nyquil, lotion tissues, and ginger ale when I was sick with a head cold earlier this week.

My "Baby" Sister:  Who sent me a gift card to my favorite bookstore because she was thinking about me wanted to make me smile! (which actually made me cry a little - in a good way)

The Grand baby:  Because no matter how grumpy I am or worn out I feel, he makes me smile and laugh every single day

What are you thankful for?  Please share in the comments section.  OR - even better: write your own "Thankful Thursday" post and share the link in the comments.  And I would also be very thankful if you also included a mention and a link back to this blog somewhere in your post. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Gathering

I had the great pleasure of attending The Gathering at Biltmore Baptist last Thursday evening.  A beautiful, inspirational evening.  A joining of women to uplift and encourage each other and worship in His name. 

Words simply fail me.  So, here are some pictures I snapped at the event.

Opening worship

Lori Frank:

Leah Gillen Stirewalt:

Jackie Oerther

Altar call...

Closing Worship (Yes, I was in tears)

Seven Days Without Coffee: Complete!!

Yah!!  I did it!  I went seven whole entire days without coffee!  (I know!!  I'm still amazed I didn't cave too!)  What better way to celebrate than....

with a hot steaming cup of coffee, of course!! 

I invite you all to share a cup along with me.  I am having a nice dark roast with plenty of half & half, a little sweetener, and a dash of pumpkin syrup. 

Oh, how I have missed you!!

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Broken Into Beautiful

I came across this video this morning.  It seems to fit so well with my post "Reading the Labels" from yesterday, I wanted to share it with you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: Makes One Weak

Day Seven has finally arrived! Seven days without coffee is almost complete! I can't believe I have come to the end of this short but challenging journey.

I can almost taste the dark, rich cup of delicious caffeine now.  I will probably spend the night dreaming in anticipation of returning to my one true vice.  If I sleep at all.  Would it defeat the entire purpose if I got up at midnight to enjoy a cup pot?

What was the point you may ask?  Um... well... 

I was a teeny tiny bit concerned about my reaction to the very thought of doing it.  Seemed like a little red flag.  So, this was mostly just to prove to myself that I could. That I had the will power to walk away from it. 

And I did!!  :0)

Tomorrow, tomorrow - I love ya tomorrow!

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Reading the Labels

Labels.  I keep reading about labels.  Labels we put on other people.  Labels we put on ourselves.

First it was Lysa TerKeurst's new book Unglued reminding me that labels can "imprison us in categories that are hard to escape".   This morning it was Upward Not Inward talking about the self inflicted labels and how "they are hard to ignore because deep down you know they are true, at least partially".  Even my recent post  Measuring Up deals indirectly with labels - comparing those we place on someone else with those we've put to ourselves and feeling as if we come up short.

Don't kid yourself.  That old childhood chant about sticks and stones breaking bones, it's wrong.  Words can hurt.  They can leave marks that last days, years, or even a lifetime.


That's the very worst of the worst.  It's the one we most often place on ourselves.  Because, in the end, that's where so many of the other labels are headed.

When we tell ourselves:
I'm stupid.
I'm ugly.
I'm a mess.
I'm a push over.
I'm disorganized.
I'm a bad mother.
I'm always late.
I'm a hypocrite.
I'm lonely.
I'm an addict.
I'm a nerd.
I'm no good at (fill in the blank)

.. at some point those thoughts are likely to arrive at "worthless". 

Even though God tells us over and over again in His word how valuable we are! As Lysa says in Unglued: "Those labels start out as little threads of self-dissatisfaction but ultimately weave together into a straitjacket of self-condemnation."

Even though God tells us over and over again in His word how valuable we are!  Scripture tells us that we are His workmanship, his masterpieces.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:10

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well ~ Psalm 139:14

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. ~ Luke 12: 6-7

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us ~ Romans 5:8

Did you catch that? 

Wonderfully made.  With a purpose.  Loved.  Full of worth!

Now, how do you like those labels?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: Gets Some Help

Over the weekend the male offspring was congested and miserable.  I thought it was allergies. Until the grand baby woke up this morning stuffy, sneezy, and coughing.  He won't let his mommy out of his sight.  As the day has progressed, the congestion and sneezing have moved into my head.

The bright side of this is that when I am not feeling well, I prefer tea to coffee.  This makes it pretty easy to go without coffee today.   A nice cup of peppermint or chamomile tea is very comforting when you don't feel well.  Which makes the cold/allergy/whatever thing I have going on work in my favor when it comes to making it through the last two days of the Seven Days Without Coffee.

I'd rather have a pumpkin latte than a head full of snot.  Just saying...

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: Gets Ugly

I am a little on edge.  A tad testy.  Easily annoyed.  A tiny bit moody.  A wee temperamental.  I am also reaching an all time excellence in understatements.

Day five.  I think I am bordering on evil.  As in a "wicked witch of the west" level.  Anything might set my blood boiling.  Someone mentioning the chocolate bundt cake I promised to bake for dessert and had not yet started.  The dirty dishes in the sink.  The dog loudly licking of his personal areas.  Like I said... anything.

I fear there may be a few chips in the dishes from where I was banging them around earlier because... well, because... well, I'm sure I had a good reason at the time! Or maybe not. Maybe it was just my caffeine deprived demon taking over.  

I fully realize some of this internal emotional stewing could be hormonal.  There's another lesson learned. 

Lesson Three: Carefully consider the timing of your seven days without coffee.  Make sure they do not at some point overlap with your PMS days.  The two can create a very unstable combination.

I can almost feel the man of the house thinking about sitting on me and pouring coffee down my throat.  And to be perfectly honest with you - I probably wouldn't protest a whole lot.

Two more days... Two more days... two more days...

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Getting It Done

To Do List for September 24 - 28
  • Give dining room a thorough cleaning
  • Write
  • Finish book before it is due Tuesday!
  • Work on Queen B's Busy Work custom order
  • Get more new items up on Queen B's Busy Work
  • Go to Man of the House's softball game
  • Attend Women's Bible Study
  • Attend James McDonald Vertical Church Tour
  • Give myself a manicure
  • Organize something (anything!) in craft area
  • Organize coupons

Seven Days Without Coffee: Coffee Dreaming

Day Four had me missing coffee. Thinking of coffee. Dreaming of coffee.  Longing for coffee.  Day Four was a tough one.  But I made it.  The half way mark had been accomplished!

I have to confess something.  I went and took advantage of World Market's 3 hour Buy One, Get One sale on coffee.  Like the squirrels stashing away the acorns for winter, I was stocking up for the day when I will once again return to the dark pleasure of coffee.

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gonna Be A Busy Week: Updated!

Another good week with a lot accomplished!  Feeling very good about how things have been going on the weekly to do lists recently!

To Do September 17 - 21:
  • Get mani-pedi  
  • Go to The Man of the House's softball game  
  • Get Queen B's Busy Work order mailed  
  • Catch up on laundry
  • Babysit grand baby on Monday  
  • Wednesday: help prep for The Gathering
  • Attend The Gathering Thursday night
  • Post new items for Queen B's Busy Work  
  • Purchase/order yarn for Queen B's Busy Work custom order  
  • Start work on Queen B's Busy Work custom order  Have a few questions for customer before I can begin
  • Write!! 
  • Finish reading current book  Not quite, but have to finish by Tuesday when it's due!
  • Make and freeze soup and pasta sauce for dinners this week and future meals

Friday, September 21, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: Dazed and Confused

Day Three.  And my brain is just not functioning like it should. (stop snickering!  This is potentially serious stuff here!)

Today the man of the house sent me an email and mentioned that when we went to the store he wanted to get a "bball net".  I'm wondering what sort of baseball net he could mean. (to my credit he is playing fall softball right now)  It took about 5 emails back and forth before he clarified a "basketball net" before I realized he meant a net for the basketball goal!  Yes, I felt silly.

I tried to do the very simple task of making some hair bows for Queen B's Busy Work today.  I couldn't even seem to focus and manage that this afternoon. 

Last night, the female offspring and I were about half way to church for The Gathering before we realized I had left the tickets on the front of the fridge.   After coming back home to get them, we got all the way to church before realizing I had also left the bag of items to donate to the women's homeless shelter!

If you only knew how many times I have had to hit the backspace button in the course of writing this! (twice in that last sentence alone!)  I'm not a great speller on the best of days, but today my fingers do not want to obey and are just typing letters at random. 

And I think I forgot to eat breakfast this morning.

I was going to say something else, but it's slipped my mind...

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Measuring Up

We've probably all played the game in our heads at one time, in one form or another. 

The pre-game starts like this:

You come rushing into whatever meeting/volunteering/bible study/ playgroup/etc at the last moment.  Or even a few minutes late.  You feel flustered.  Frazzled.  Discombobulated.  You hope you have everything you were supposed to bring with you.  And that you don't have a big coffee stain on your shirt and that the shoes you slipped your feet into on the way out the door actually are a matched pair.

There "She" sits.   Hair perfectly styled.  Makeup complete.  A cute outfit on her tiny little body.  Adorable child, wearing perfectly matched clothing without a spot of dirt.  They are both smiling and giggling over something. 

And we have kick off ... The Measuring Up Game. 

"She" doesn't even realize she's taking part in this mental game of yours.  But in your head she has become the opposing team and the competition is tough inside that brain of yours.   The internal monologue goes something like this:

How does she do it?  I could never be that perfect.  Never.  She must get up at midnight to start getting herself and all those perfect kids ready.  Maybe she doesn't sleep at all.  I need my sleep.  I couldn't get up any earlier than I already do.  How does she manage it?  Maybe she's on some crazy diet pills that keep her awake at night and give her all that energy. That would explain it.  That would also explain how she stays so skinny.  I could never be that skinny.  She had 3 kids?  I only had 2 and look at how out of shape and disgusting I am.

As you try to suck in your stomach all the way to your spine, and ponder joining Weight Watchers or Curves - you over hear her telling a story about how "just as I finished cooking breakfast and was washing up the dishes, he came in and said the funniest thing..."  Feeling guilty as you consider the coffee and cold cereal your own husband and kids had for breakfast, the voice in you head continues...

Yeh... I can never be that good.  Never have.  Never will.  Why can't I be more like her?  What is wrong with me?  My kids deserve better than cold cereal or frozen waffles.  I'll bet her house is clean also.  Spotless.  My house is a mess.  It's so embarrassing.  I'm a terrible housekeeper. 

And on it goes.  Feeling more and more worthless as the game continues.  Maybe it's not that perfect mom you compare yourself with.  Maybe it's a woman at the office. Maybe it's your neighbor.  Maybe it's your sister.  But I can make a good guess that at some point in time, some woman has come along who had you playing the Measuring Up Game.  Beating yourself up for not being like someone else.  Comparing yourself. 

That's the thing about the Measuring Up game.  You're really playing against yourself.  And you can never win.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: Is Ironic

I had to chuckle at the irony.  Day Two of the "Seven Days Without Coffee" challenge began with me sipping tea out of a cup clearly labelled to be used for coffee.

It was my own way to trying to mentally trick myself.  I see the cup sitting there and think "Mmmm... coffee!" Pick up the cup, take a  big sip.  Not coffee.  

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Thankful Thursday: September 20

This week I am thankful for:

The Gathering:  Wednesday I had the honor of working with some lovely women to help do some prep work for the event.  Today I am grateful for the opportunity to join other women in an evening of worshipping and learning about our Lord!  And that the female offspring agreed to go with me!

Sleeping In:  I gave myself permission to sleep in a little this morning.  I slept until almost 8:00 and it was wonderful!  Even if I feel a little guilty sleeping in while the Man of the House went about his morning and got the male offspring off to school.

Tea: It's the only thing keeping me sane and functioning during the Seven Days Without Coffee

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: Is Off To A Rough Start

In case you were wondering, lack of coffee has not killed me (yet). And on an even more positive note: I have not yet killed anyone else either.   I had a lovely pot of English Breakfast tea this morning, while the siren song of the coffee brewing for the Man of the House called out to me.   As I left the house, my travel mug was full of chamomile.  It wasn't bad.  It also wasn't coffee.

However, I'm only this far into day one, and I have learned a couple of important lessons.
Lesson One: Never, ever... seriously I mean NEVER... start a coffee detox on the morning you have to get up extra early to go do mind-numbing volunteer work.  Seriously, if there was ever a task that needed a caffeine jolt it is stuffing info/goodie bags and rolling forks into napkins before 9am. 

Lesson Two: On the first day of your coffee detox, do not under any circumstances make a run into the grocery store with the Starbucks counter right at the entrance. 

Right now I have a nagging thumping behind my left eyebrow.  I'm starting to feel extremely run down and tired.  And my shoulders are getting tight. I believe this is a signal to sit down and have another cup of tea.  Something caffeinated. 

Read more of "Seven Days Without Coffee" Here:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Seven Days Without Coffee: The Challenge

After viewing The Belle of the Carnival's video blog about her week without coffee, the question kept running through my mind: Could you go a week without coffee?

Now, of course my first response was:  Nope... No... No way... Not a chance! 

Which made me start wondering about other things.  Such as: Is it really bad that I had a strong reaction to the idea of a week without coffee?  Is that actually a sign that I need to go a week without coffee to detox myself from it's rich delicious caffeiney goodness?  (yes, caffeiney is a word.  If it's not - well, I just invented it)

After much mental wrestling over these questions (and a few others, most of which are not related to this story), I decided to give it the ol' college try. 

I checked the tea stash.  (What?  I'm not crazy.  I have no intention of facing caffiene detox headaches without some sort of backup!) A nice collection of Earl Gray, English Breakfast, Chamomile, Peppermint, and various herbals?  Check.  Local sourwood honey and sugar?  Check. It seemed as if all the pieces were already in place; as if the universe were saying: Go ahead.  You can do this.  Go for it.

So, tomorrow begins my challenge: Seven Days Without Coffee.  Which yes, I fully intend to document right here for your reading pleasure.

Will I survive?  Will those around me? 

You can read more of the Seven Days Without Coffee Series here:

Rain On My Parade

Out my living room window the rain is coming down. 

Pouring rain. 

Raining cats and dogs. 

Raining pitchforks and hammer handles.

Monsoon-esque rain.

The type of rain that calls for curling up on the couch with a cup of tea and a book for the afternoon.  Or do some crochet and watch some shows I've had on the DVR for a while.

The kind of rain that makes me not want to leave the house for any reason.

Of course, just as the heavens open up and the bottom falls out - this is the time that the dog starts whining to go out.  Now.  In the midst of the downpour.  And apparently he needs to go right now! 

It also happens to be a day when I need to run to the store and the post office.  And take the male offspring to his guitar lesson.

So, I set the book aside.  Give the crochet hooks a longing look.  And forget the tea.

I resign myself to the fact that my hair is going to be a mess today, no matter what I do. 

I put away the cute shoes; because I know my feet are going to get soaked.

I take a deep breath, pull up the hood on my rain jacket, and brave the rain...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gonna Be A Busy Week!

To Do September 17 - 21:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This Week I Will: Update!

It's time to take a look back at my goals for theweek and see how I've done marking off the ToDo List. 
This was a great week!  I made a lot of progress.  Yah me!! 

  • Do some organizing in craft area! (no, for really reals this time!) Got the crochet patterns organized and into a binder!'s something!
  • Work on items for Queen B's Busy Work Finished a scarf, have another scarf and a baby hat ready to go online, working on some hats for special requests.
  • Finish and return overdue library book Check!
  • Do some more purging in bedroom It's a work in progress.  But I made a little progress.
  • Freezer cooking of gumbo and chili Check!
  • Attend Little Man's open house Check!
  • Attend Man of the House's first softball game of the season Check!
  • Walk at least 2 days
  • Write Check. 
  • Start working on first Christmas present I found the pattern I want to use and picked up the yarn, so I'm counting it as a Check

Friday, September 14, 2012

Everything and Nothing: The Follow Friday Four Fill In

TGIF!  Which means it's time again for the Follow Friday Four Fill In Blog Hop! Each week, Feeling Beachie gives us four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.

Want to be featured as a Co-Host to the hop? Come up with four fill in’s of your own and email them to her at If she uses them, you get a nice little mention in that weeks hop! Please help her out and email some statements! This week’s co-host is Annie from The Lemon Drop she came up with the last two statements.

It's only fair that we share and share alike! So, since Feeling Beachie is sharing with us - be sure to tweet, facebook, etc about the Follow Friday blog hop. If you tweet, please use #f5-bloghop And add the little linky tool there at the bottom to your own blog if you participate!

This week’s statements:

1. I like to __ when I am ___
2. ___ is my favorite vegetable
3. I get ________ when I ___________.
4. I’m surprised by _________ and ____________.

My Responses:

1. I like to read when I am trying to fall asleep.  (This was tough, because I immediately had 3 responses jump into my head when I read this statement!!!)
2. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable  (followed very closely by broccoli and brussel sprouts)
3. I get stressed out when I think of everything I need and want to do.
4. I’m surprised by everything and nothing all at once!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday: September 13

Another week has come, and is just about gone!  It's nice to take a few minutes and just soak up all the goodness which has been heaped upon me again this week. 

This Week I Am Thankful For:
  • Cooler Weather:  I haven't run the air conditioner all week!  The days have been comfortable and the nights are bordering on chilly.  Fall is in the air and I am loving every minute!
  • Fall Softball Season:  The Man of the House is a happy fellow when he's playing softball a few nights a week.  And seeing the Man of the House happy makes me happy!
  • Homemade Pies:  The female offspring has been in a baking mood recently.  And we are reaping the rewards of her efforts - such as apple pie and peach cobbler.  Yum!

What are you thankful for?  Please share in the comments section.  OR - even better: write your own "Thankful Thursday" post and share the link in the comments.  And I would be very thankful if you also included a mention and a link back to this blog somewhere in your post.  <<-- and that boys and girls is what we call a shameless plug! ;0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

As Far As It Depends On You

It started when I began reading "Unglued" by Lysa TerKeurst.  I barely made it through the first chapter page before I became convinced that she has cameras hidden somewhere in my home and had been watching all my less-than-stellar unglued moments.  As I kept reading, I found plenty of  "oh, that's me!...Ouch!" moments in those pages.  I recognized myself in her stories of stuffing emotions, and those of exploding.  I knew I had plenty of room for what Lysa calls "imperfect progress" -  "slow steps of progress wrapped in grace".

Oh, but God didn't stop there.  No.  He keeps pressing on my heart.  Every where I turned were messages of  letting go of resentment.  Forgiving.  Not holding onto bitterness.  Not gathering retaliation rocks.  Being kind and humble.  Forgive.  Let go.  Forgive.  Let go.  Be kind.  Resolve conflicts.  He had identified an area I need some work, and he was going to make sure I got the message.  Why, even this coming week the subject our preacher will be speaking on is "God is Bigger Than Your Conflicts". 

I can identify relationships in my life where I am holding onto some level of resentment. I store up hurt feelings, slights, and annoyances. Some real, some may just be in my perspective. I use them to justify myself as I build up that wall. I avoid the person and I stuff the feelings that come up when faced when them. Funny thing about those feelings - they grow, they get sharper, and they end up hurting us more than anyone else.

It's not that I want to be angry.  Or bitter.  Or self righteous.  Or unkind.  But... well, in some situations it's just become what's comfortable.  Maybe comfortable is the wrong word.  But familiar.  And even if it's not comfortable, familiarity still carries its own level of... well, comfort.  Holding onto past resentments.  Or harsh feelings.  Or dislike of a particular person.  It becomes like a security blanket.  It can be because we haven't really forgiven.  Or it may be a wall we've built up to protect ourselves before that person can hurt our feelings once again. 

Romans 12:18 tells us "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."  Which puts the ball for resolving those feelings of conflict squarely on our shoulders. 

I want to resist.  I want to throw myself to the floor and flail my arms like a child, crying out "But, I don't wannaaaaaa".  I want to pull out all those justifications of  for why I am feeling and acting the way I am.  This was about the time I read Lysa TerKeurst's words "Am I trying to prove or improve? In other words, is my desire in this conflict to prove that I am right or to improve the relationship at hand?" I felt the sting.  Another "ouch".  Message received. 

I know I have improvement to make.  But it starts with realizing that I need to take steps as far as it depends on me to live at peace with everyone.  I can't control others, but I can control how I react to them and how I let them affect me.  I have to try to improve relationships rather than prove myself right.

Trust me... it's going to be imperfect progress.  And I'm going to need plenty of grace as I stumble and slip along the way.  Fortunately I've also been blessed with more of that than I could ever hope for!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dear Cat...

Dear Cat;

There seems to be a misunderstanding going on here.  While I realize that due to all the money paid out to vets bills in our attempts to help you recover from your recent poisoning incident, you are are now the most expensive item in this house; that does not give you free range to do as you please and ignore all the rules previously in place.

You still do not belong on my dining table, or the kitchen counters. As I am the one scooping out your litter box, I know exactly where your feet have been and what they have been stepping on.  I have no desire to have them tiptoeing around on the surfaces where I place my food.  Stay off!

You are not now entitled to more food.  Please stop following me around the house meowing at me to fill your bowl.  I am the one who is feeding you.  I know you have already had breakfast.  And dinner is hours away.  No matter what you say or how many times you say it, I am not giving more. Get over it. 

When I get up from my chair to fix a cup of tea, that is not an open invitation to jump up and take possession of that seat.  I'm coming back.  I also do not appreciate that look you give me when I try to displace you from my spot. 

Those spots on the stairs and the back on my couch you keep scratching at?  I am not pleased, as you may have guessed by the constant yelling you hear and the sprays of water which keep hitting you.  You have more than a sufficient amount of cat toys and scratchers for that sort of activity.  Leave my stuff alone! 

I do understand that you are frustrated at no longer being allowed outside to stalk birds and small rodents.  Or nibble grass.  And whatever else you used to do out there.  But since we have no way of knowing where you wander off to, or what you got into that led to the overnight at the emergency animal hospital and 2 days at your veterinarian's office - we can no longer allow you to free range the neighborhood to your heart's desire. 

We forked over some big bucks to drag you back from your spot in line at the pearly gates of kitty heaven.  How about showing a little appreciation?  I really don't think it's too much to ask.  Thank you.

Sincerely, Your Owner Housemate

Sunday, September 9, 2012

This Week I Will

I forget.  After a summer with little written on the calendar, once school starts the little squares begin to quickly fill.  School events, guitar lessons, softball games, bible studies.  Things are gearing back up and life is getting busier.

To Do List for September 10 - 15:
  • Do some organizing in craft area!  (no, for really reals this time!)
  • Work on items for Queen B's Busy Work
  • Finish and return overdue library book
  • Do some more purging in bedroom
  • Freezer cooking of gumbo and chili
  • Attend Little Man's open house
  • Attend Man of the House's first softball game of the season
  • Walk at least 2 days
  • Write
  • Start working on first Christmas present

Less Time To Do It: Update

Let's review...  last week I was supposed to:

  • make homemade dishwasher detergent  Check
  • work on Queen B's Busy Work items  
  • clean up bedroom - complete with some purging  Mostly - check
  • keep mammogram appointment  Check
  • do something (anything) to start organizing craft area  
  • library  
  • make a decision on at least one Christmas present to make  Check
  • write, Write, WRITE!!  Most days - check
Eh... Could have been better, could have been worse. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Literary Love

The first book I ever loved...

When I saw this writing prompt, my first instinct was to break out into hives.  That's my usual response to questions which concern my favorite book or anything along those lines.  I love books.  I have many books I love.  And many authors I enjoy reading.  I don't think I could ever pick just one "favorite". 

As far back as I can remember I have loved books.

I learned to write my own name for the sole purpose of being able to get my very own library card.  The librarian told me I had to be able to write my name on the card before I could have my own.  So I went home and harassed my parents into teaching how to print those two words would would entitle me to the treasure I wanted so badly.

In the days when kindergarten was optional and learning didn't really start until first grade, I begged and pleaded with my kindergarten teacher to teach me to read.  Finally, she consented and sent home first readers for me to master.  I still remember feeling quite pleased with myself over learning to read the word "straw" in the Three Little Pigs.  Hey... it's a hard word when you are 5 and just learning!

My mind wandered back over my years of reading love.  The initial knee-jerk reaction to the prompt began to fade and I realized that it wasn't as bad as the ol' "what's your favorite" question.  This wasn't a matter of choosing one book over another.  I had only to wander down my memory lane of literary enjoyment and find the book that first captured my imagination.

I think of hours spent with Nancy Drew solving mysteries.

Days in covered wagons, settling the open prairies with Laura Ingalls Wilder

Escapades and antics lived vicariously through Ramona Quimby.

Tears shed over a little runt pig... "some pig"... and the loss of a loving barn spider who lived in the corner of his doorway.

Through all the stories and all the fictional friends - one keeps pushing to the front of the line.  The first book I remember completely enthralling me.  The first story that made me want to crawl into the pages and be with the character.  The first book to take me completely outside anything I knew and introduce me to a world very very different from my own.  The first book I read over and over and over again.

The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. 

I must have been in about 4th grade when I first came across this book.  Even after all these years; just seeing the name written and thinking about the story, makes me want to pick the book up and read it again. 

Would I still feel the same about this story based on the real life "Lost Woman of San Nicolas" if I read the book today?  Would I still be amazed at her strength, courage, and self-sufficiency?  Would the love still be there?   I like to think so.  I may even put it to the test.

So tell me, what was the first book you ever loved?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time and Money: The Follow Friday Four Fill-in

It's time again for the Follow Friday Four Fill In Blog Hop! Each week, Feeling Beachie gives us four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.

Want to be featured as a Co-Host to the hop? Come up with four fill in’s of your own and email them to her at If she uses them, you get a nice little mention in that weeks hop! Please help her out and email some statements! This week’s co-host is Janice from Janice's Footsteps she came up with the last two statements.

It's only far that we share and share alike! So, since Feeling Beachie is sharing with us - be sure to tweet, facebook, etc about the Follow Friday blog hop. If you tweet, please use #f5-bloghop And add the little linky tool there at the bottom to your own blog if you participate!

This week’s statements:
1. I wish I had ___ to ___
2. I stopped wearing ____
3. My favorite song right now is_________because________.
4. I always sing while________.

1. I wish I had more time and money to invest in Queen B's Busy Work

2. I stopped wearing perfume and/or body spray as my allergies have gotten worse and I couldn't figure out what was causing a rash

3. My favorite song right now is Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns because I like the message of extending grace to others

4. I always sing while driving or riding in the car (much to the annoyance of the offspring!).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thankful Thursday: September 6

An attitude of gratitude.  Living in a state of thankfulness.  Whatever you want to call it - it can change your outlook on life.  "We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction" ~ Harry A. Ironside

This week I am thankful for:
  • Freshman Year:  The little man is only 1 1/2 weeks into high school, and I'm already seeing an improvement in his attitude towards school and the effort he is putting into it!  I'm praying it lasts.
  • The Man of the House: He's handsome.  He's handy (remind me to tell you about the new mailbox post he made for us!).  He's caring and supportive. And he's all mine!! 
  • Flexible Friends:  We were supposed to attend the Apple Festival last weekend with some friends.  The weather had different plans, pouring rain complete with thunder and lightening.  After sitting in a Walgreen's parking lot hoping it would pass over - plans were changed to a game of bowling and some ice cream after.  A good time was had by all.

I Got Smashed!

It's that time again.  Once a year, I get smashed.  If you're female and in my general age range (or older... I don't ask, it's up to you if you want to tell) I encourage you to do it also! 

I'm talking about the yearly mammogram.

My process was simple enough.  Left the house at 8:30am.  Drove to The Breast Center at Hope.  Signed it.  Sat in waiting room for about 3 minutes.  Changed into embarrassing little cape thing.   Got smushed.  Changed back into my own shirt.  Drove home.  Arrived shortly after 9:30.  Just about an hour from start to finish. 

Yes, it's a little uncomfortable.  I'm not going to pretend that I wouldn't much rather be doing dozens of things other than having personal parts of my anatomy squashed in that contraption.  It's not like getting a pedicure!  But, it's once a year.  I can handle that. 

And, yes... I know there has been some controversy lately about the "risks" of mammography.  Namely, false positives leading to further testing and unnecessary procedures as well as the stress and mental anguish  this can cause a woman.  I've thought about this.  And for myself, I feel I would rather be stressed for a short time to find it was nothing than for something to be there and not know about it.

Today in celebration of completing my own mission for health, I am putting the call out:  Don't put it off!  Make the call today to schedule your own mammogram!  Next month (October) is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  What better time to get that gals checked out? 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Like Little Children

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

This verse has had me thinking about little children...

How they depend on their parents for everything.  And they simply trust that what ever they need - clothing, food, comfort, etc - will be given to them by the adults they trust.

They look up to us for guidance and knowledge.  To be examples to them of what to do and how to act. 

When they are happy they come to share their joy with us.  And when they are sad or hurt they turn to us for comfort and expect we will hold them and make it all better.

That is how we need to be with God, isn't it?  Depending on Him, and having full faith in Him.  Looking to Him for guidance and wisdom.  Leaning on Him in times of trouble or sadness.

Seems so simple, doesn't it?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Less Time To Do It

I enjoy a good long weekend just as much as anyone else.  But what is it about "short weeks" that always makes me feel a little rushed and stressed? Too much to do, and a day shorter to do it all. 

To Do: September 3 - 7
  • make homemade dishwasher detergent
  • work on Queen B's Busy Work items
  • clean up bedroom - complete with some purging
  • keep mammogram appointment
  • do something (anything) to start organizing craft area
  • library
  • make a decision on at least one Christmas present to make
  • write, Write, WRITE!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

September Goals

September?  Is that right?  September?  I keep thinking it must be wrong, because I JUST typed out the list of goals for August - like yesterday or the day before, right?  Right? No?  I was afraid of that. 

Oh well.  A new month = new goals.  And here they are.

September Goals:
  • Finish "About" page for Queen B's Busy Work
  • Continue making new items for Queen B's Busy Work
  • Do SOMETHING to start organizing crafting area!
  • Schedule a September date night with The Man of the House
  • Make more time for reading
  • Write everyday - either blogging or writing journal (or both!)
  • Start making at least 2 Christmas presents
  • Take some relaxing time for me each week (give myself a pedi, take a bubble bath, etc)

What's a Girl To Do: Update!!

Wondering how I did meeting my goals for the week?  A couple of things half done, or not even started - but overall I did pretty well!  As a matter of fact, looking back at all the "CHECK"s - I had a really good week!!

  • Catch up on the laundry (have to make sure school clothes are clean and ready to wear!) CHECK
  • Clean up living room CHECK - ok, maybe half check...
  • Work on organizing craft area
  • Work on projects for Queen B's Busy Work CHECK
  • Finish at least one of the books I'm reading CHECK
  • Do some writing CHECK
  • Go to library CHECK
  • Organize coupons CHECK
  • Schedule yearly mammogram!! CHECK


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