Exactly half-way through this summer, I am wondering where the time has gone… Yes, I counted out the days/weeks. I like numbers.
It seems to have at least partially gone to:
- baseball practice
- baseball games
- house guests
- weekend trips to visit family
- a visit with a dear friend (Hi Heather!)
- time at the lake
- tubing at the lake
- quiet hours at the coffee shop with a spiced chai
- strawberry picking
- making strawberry
- picking peas
- shelling and freezing peas
- tearing apart a bathroom!
The second half will see the end of baseball, but won’t slow down!
- BIG family trip (first ever)
- camp for kids
- bathroom redo to complete
- garage to clean out and reorganize
- more time at the lake
- more fishing
- CSA harvest events
- gardening to keep up on
- freezing and canning to do
Just as I don’t know how we fit it all in the first half, I don’t really know how it will all get done in the second half. But I think that somehow it will…
Over the weekend I began purging the house of junk. Buying and subscribing to magazines has always been a weakness of mine. I used to subscribe to 4 or 5 magazines. Now only one. And I doubt I will renew that one. I was also known to buy a few magazines a month at the checkout lane. I really do LOVE magazines.
During the we-own-two-houses-and-have-no-money era I knew I had to cease with the checkout line magazine buying. At almost $5 a pop, it was just not possible to keep that habit going.
I did hold onto all my old issues of magazines though… I
have had stacks and stacks of magazines. Under the bed. In a nightstand drawer. In a big basket in the living room. In a box in the storage area. In my office. In the bathroom. You get the idea.
Earlier in 2010 I thought I finally had the strength to get rid of them. I did the clip-great-articles-to-look-at-later thing. They are neatly filed in a couple of accordian file things. And in six months I haven’t needed one of those articles. I did decrease the size of a few stacks that way.
So, thoroughly sick of my piles of junk I decided to cull the magazines. While my family laughed I measured my success…. 24 inches of recycling! TWO full feet of magazines stacked up!
I did save a few, and they are in the basket in the living room. Of course there are a couple of magazines in the bathroom too.
While I’m happy to be rid of TWO FEET of clutter, I can’t help but think that I may be missing out on something.
- 11,387 tips for beating stress
- 9,026 great uses for a handy kitchen tool we all own
- 23,612 great beauty products under $12.73
- Answers to all my parenting questions… complete with cute crafts.
- 795 super foods to make me bionic
- 817 foods that will kill me
- Detailed directions to every effective exercise move. Ever.
- 679 ways to brighten up any room
- 912 ways to organize any room
- 1190 ways to clean practically anything
That is a LOT of great information. And I’m getting rid of it!!! What am I thinking!?!?
Oh. Wait. I know! I have a library. And they have magazines.
Have you noticed that every magazine has some combination of the following:
- How to look better
- How to feel better/be healthier
- How to handle some common problem experienced by 90% of the population
- A handful of new! seasonal! recipes
- How to decorate/prepare for the current season/holiday
- and of course… HOT! NEW! TRENDS!
I was at the library tonight to help Grace with some research for a speech. I also spent 20 minutes reading some magazines I had resisted at the grocery store last week. Next time though, I need to remember a little notebook and pen so I can write down really great ideas and websites to check out that are mentioned in articles.
So how about you? Do you love or hate magazines?
Happy New Year!!
It is good to make some time to jot some things down again! I’ve missed being here…but there were a lot of things going on that I didn’t know how to really write. Suffice it to say that I’m happy to see 2011 start.
I was looking over Tsh’s reflection questions over at Simple Mom. Everyone is busy looking ahead, but do you ever really stop and look back over the last year?? I don’t think I do. I start to and can recall some of the last season or some REALLY BIG things from the last year (major vacation, BIG illness type stuff) But I don’t think I look at the small blessings.
As I was looking at those questions and thinking about 2010, I got out a notebook and pen. While I didn’t actually answer her questions on paper, I got to thinking about the last year. The following is part of that list of highlights I made.
- Committing to ridding my house of 40 bags of stuff in 40 days for Lent.
- Going on a scrapbook retreat alone in March in the MN woods.
- Welcoming a dear childhood friend to my house for a long weekend during the summer.
- Indulging in semi-regular girls’ night home-pedis and movies with my daughter.
- Taking one full Sabbath day. Soaking in the silence. Listening.
- Chaperoning Grace’s 8th grade class field trip into very northern MN for 4 days & 3 nights of wilderness/orienteering training & team building. This was just a month ago so it was cold and snowy! Awesome experience.
- Camping at a local state park.
- Bonfires in the backyard.
- Driving down to the CSA farm early in the morning for farm pick events.
And then there was the less than fun stuff. But it happened none-the-less.
- Taking the dog in for surgery and feeling horribly guilty I hadn’t noticed the lumps earlier.
- Grace’s 10 day migraine. Spending days taking care of her and then taking her on the long drive to Mayo in Rochester to finally get answers and the right treatment to break the headache.
- My car accident in October. Although it wasn’t my fault, it is hard to know that I hit the other car. After almost 2 months my new van is fixed but I am still doctoring for my sprained neck/back. Ugh.
There were hundreds of other moments, both good and bad. Just like your year, I am sure. What I notice in these lists is that it is all about experiences, not things.
Nowhere did the new TV or clothes dryer or van come to mind. Ok, so the van kind of got mentioned. Only because it makes the van-crash story that much more sad…the fact that I only drove it 10 days before the accident.
It helps after the materialism that creeps into the holidays to notice that my biggest memories of 2010 were not things at all.
Looking ahead I will focus on the experiences. Not the things.
- Went sledding with 30 Girl Scouts.
- Gave up a volunteer position that was just too much…
- Put trellises on my square foot garden boxed
- Grew some tasty snap peas
- Made my first batches of green salsa – and it is GOOD!
- Helped put in the new fence around my back yard
- Made my own glass storage jars
- Made a bed skirt out of sheets
- Hid the cords by the TV
- Went on a road trip – just me and my mom
- Saw Niagara Falls
- Met my cousin in Vermont
- Drove on a toll road for the first time ever
- Went to my husband’s 20 year class reunion
- Saw one of my best friends – only happens every other year
- Made Scrabble tile & domino pendants
- Read hundreds of books (children’s)
- Read some grown-up books too
- Took a weight-lifting class for women
- Hung laundry out on the line
- Spray painted things
- Groomed the dog
- Took my vitamins
- Flossed my teeth (I’m not telling how often)
- Went to some garage sales
- Donated things we didn’t need anymore
- Cooked over a fire
- Walked across the Mississippi River
- Went on a picnic
- Created a few photo-books online
- Completed a couple of other scrapbooks
- Shoveled snow
- Painted my nails
- Celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary
- Enjoyed my 38th birthday
- Loved my family
- Read my Bible
- Counted my blessings
Looking at this small sampling of things I did in ’09, I notice that there are fun & exciting “firsts” as well as everyday things that get forgotten in the hustle & bustle. But isn’t that life?
2009 was a good year & I have every reason to believe 2010 will be just as good if not better!
Happy New Year!
Filed under Just Me, Lists
- Make caramel bars
- Mend little boys ripped pants
- Mend big boys ripped pants
- Get stains out of laundry
- Trim pets’ nails
- Clean a floor
- Get hard water deposits off faucets
- Paint a room
- Strip wallpaper
- Make spaghetti & meatballs – homemade
- Make monster bars
- Bake bread
- Pack school lunches
- Grow salad veggies: spinach, lettuce, radishes & the like
- Make/can salsa
- Crochet a dishcloth
- Sew a basic curtain
- Make/can sweet relish
- Bake banana bread
- Polish shoes
- Change diapers (quickly)
- Put lights on a Christmas tree
- Read children’s stories with “voices”
- Use chalkboard spray paint
- Make great chocolate chip cookies
- Trim bushes/hedges
- Dig post holes
- Hang pictures on the wall
- Unclog the garbage disposal
- Change the furnace filter
- Write a thank-you note
- Check the oil & tire pressure on a vehicle
- Set up a tent
- Start a fire
- Cook over a fire
- Climb a tree
- Do cartwheels a cartwheel.
What can you do? What are you good at? I’d love to know!
Filed under Just Me, Lists
- Put shampoo & conditioner in pump containers so it doesn’t flood out into kids’ hands.
- Use cloth napkins.
- Use more rags than paper towels.
- Make our bread.
- Pack kids’ lunches.
- Keep milk to one glass at meals, refills are water.
- Grow lots of goodies in our gardens.
- Advocate simple fun when kids are bored.
- Keep a good supply of board games and puzzles.
- Save kids’ returned homework for internal printing jobs.
- Print online receipts and payment confirmations to my computer instead of on paper.
- Use the heels and little bits of extra bread for crumbs or croutons.
- Use a programmable thermostat.
- Set the heat to chilly for the 6 overnight hours when everyone is sleeping…then cuddle under the covers.
- Dress for the season. No tank tops allowed in the winter!
- Do my own manicures and pedicures.
- Stock my pantry at low prices.
- Eat from my pantry.
- Keep two lists.
- Use cash.
- Love the library.
- Don’t rent movies. Watch what we have, or see #21.
- Shop thrift stores & garage sales.
- Know the difference between a need & a want.
- Cook from scratch as much as possible.
- Do some simple mending.
- Hang laundry out whenever possible.
- Seal up the windows with that plastic film stuff in the winter.
- Do many home repairs & projects ourselves.
- Teach kids to be helpers.
- Work together towards those common goals.
- Use what we already have on hand.
- Use it up.
- Wear it out.
- Make do.
- Do without.
- Don’t pay attention to the Jones.
- Have an attitude of gratitude.
So there you have it…some of the simple ways we save a little cash. I’d love to hear your ideas!
- Ballroom Dance
- Play piano
- Create jewelry
- Bake pastries
- Decorate cakes
- Put binding on a blanket
- Sew clothing (other than pj pants)
- Cook rice
- Create gourmet meals
- Iron without leaving creases
- Snow ski
- Stamp cards
- Upholster furniture
- Cut hair
- Salsa dance
- Speak Spanish
- Sign language
- Pressure can venison
- Make jelly
- Make my aunt’s orange rolls
- Make my grandfather’s dumplings
- Make pfaerten
- Eat with chop sticks
- Troubleshoot my own computer problems
- Fix a leaky toilet
- Fix a drippy sink
- Hem pants
- Paint decorative things
- Grow lush plants
- French braid hair
- Grow a healthier garden
- Carve pumpkins with a drill
Filed under Just Me, Lists
- I always cross my Ts but rarely dot my Is.
- I have blue eyes. Very blue.
- I have had 6 surgeries in my life.
- I am relatively healthy.
- I have just one sibling, a younger sister.
- I am the oldest grandchild on my dad’s side.
- I have not met some of my cousins on my mom’s side. First cousins.
- My mom’s family has always been really spread out.
- I love to travel but don’t get the chance very often.
- I’m more emotional than most people would expect.
- I tend to come across as very matter-of-fact.
- Family comes first…I’ve lived my life that way.
- I have a dog & cat.
- My home phone number has always contained numbers in the 50s. xx5-3052, xxx -5150, xxx -5155
- I love to scrapbook.
- I need creative outlets more now than I did when I was 28.
- I love to have freshly painted toenails.
- I married my high school sweetheart. We started dating Sept. ’87.
- My parents were high school sweethearts too.
- My sister married her high school sweetheart.
- I generally think I can do anything, if only I try.
- Sometimes I find out that I can’t.
- Autumn is my favorite season, followed closely by Winter.
- I do not like hot weather.
- I love Mexican food.
- I love to read Dr. Seuss stories.
- I read more non-fiction than fiction.
- Most fiction I read are light mysteries.
- I like most music.
- One of my favorite movies is Better Off Dead. It makes me laugh – every time!
- I like to laugh & will usually try to find the humor in things.
- I talk to the television. Often.
- I also talk to other inanimate objects.
- Sometimes I don’t leave my house/yard for almost a week at a time.
- I’m usually ok with that.
- One of my favorite things is a new snowfall.
- I love blizzards and thunderstorms.
- Generally, I’m a pretty happy gal.
Filed under Just Me, Lists
- Briefly woke up a few minutes after midnight to my son waking my husband. He had a bad stomach ache.
- Slept about 20 minutes later than I should have.
- Remembered that I didn’t have to pack lunches…a birthday present to myself.
- Remembered that I still had to change the cat litter (garbage day).
- Changed cat litter.
- Started my work day to a little blonde girl wishing me happy birthday.
- Drank a delicious Chai Tea that another daycare family brought me.
- Made my bed.
- Made a doctor appointment for the boy.
- Changed diapers.
- Cuddled a baby.
- Read a Christmas story to little girls.
- Got lots of birthday hugs from kids.
- Wrapped a couple Christmas presents.
- Took my son to the doctor.
- Held his hand as he had blood drawn.
- Talked with doctors.
- Explained doctor appointment to my husband.
- Made decision as to whether we would still leave for the night.
- Ate grilled cheese and tomato soup with my son.
- Packed my bags for a night away.
- Talked to my best pal from Washington State.
- Opened my birthday present from said friend.
- Accepted package from FedEx guy…Christmas presents I ordered.
- Looked through the mail.
- Opened my Christmas present from my hubby & kids.
- Cashed in change at the bank.
- Went back home for things I forgot.
- Traveled with my family to nearby town for the night.
- Checked into hotel.
- Hugged & kissed my husband (not first time today).
- Answered calls from friends wishing me happy birthday.
- Ate wonderful supper.
- Did some shopping with my girl.
- Came back to hotel.
- Wrote this list.
It was a great day. My son is feeling much better and while I still think his pain was possibly appendicitis, the surgeon did not. There are good medical facilities here so we felt confident that if he got worse we were still in good hands.
I am looking forward to another great year!
Filed under Just Me, Lists
The following list is a start to what I plan to incorporate into my days. Some of this I’ve done before and just need to dust off…some of it will be new to me.
Make some time for myself before the day starts. I’m still trying to figure out if it is too much to try to fit a trip to the gym in at 5:30am or use the time for a short bit of yoga or something and some Bible time…
- Get completely ready (hair & makeup too) before first kids come @ 6:45.
- Have a dinner plan in place.
- Make pocket lists for work time and off hours. Then post them inside a kitchen cabinet. Then look at them.
- Put my flylady lists back into commission. I customized zone lists and a weekly cleaning list a couple of years ago.
- Create morning and evening routines that are simple and healthy.
- Go to bed by 10 pm on weeknights and shoot for 11 pm on weekends.
- Stop working at 8 pm
- Clean up the kitchen and turn off the light in there after supper.
Also I plan to give my kids a little more as far as chores. We don’t have set chore lists but the kids help out when/where needed.
I also plan to go back to assigning some tasks to certain days. Laundry will be done on Mondays and Thursdays and I will do bookkeeping on Tuesday evenings.
So it’s a start. And it’s almost 10 pm on a work night so I suppose I better go get ready for bed.