Thursday, July 29, 2010

The ? Room is Winning

I decided to re-organize the computer/school/sewing room.  As one of it's names suggests, our computer (on a desk) and printer/copier(on a small decorative cabinet) are in there.  It also houses three bookcases holding a wide variety of reading books, school books/materials, song books and puzzles. Finally, we have all three sewing machines in there; one on a fold-out (it's always folded out) sewing table, one on top of an old treadle machine, and one on top of a 2 drawer file cabinet.  The center of the room is almost always occupied by the ironing board.  Until a month or two ago it also had the school desk in it (actually a small, rolling TV cart in which all the girls most used school things are kept).  We moved that out when hubby re-arranged things in the dining room.  A good decision since it stays in there most of the time anyway, and with the current dining room set-up we at least have a place to put it there now instead of it sitting out in the way. 
At any rate - back to the ? room.  Everything that needs to be fixed, mended, filed, sorted, copied, created, ironed, or researched ends up in that room.   I'm glad it's actually supposed to be a bedroom.  I don't know where I'd be without the closet in there.  As you can imagine, it doesn't take much for it to get out of order, and along with the laundry, and a host of other things, it went on the back burner during the last 6 months.  The tables have become over-run with things that need to be taken care of, or fixed, the bookcases are cluttered, and the closet became a total disaster.  Most of what was stored in the closet is sewing related; fabric, patterns, fabric, notions, fabric, mending, fabric, quilt batting, fabric, pillow stuffing, etc.  Oh, and did I mention, fabric???   I had no idea I had so much fabric.  I mean, I knew I had it, but it looks so much different once you pull it all out in the middle of the floor.  Hubby went and bought two closet, cabinet organizers and I've filled them both with fabric.  I also have fabric (the ones I still have enough of to keep on the boards) in a laundry hamper in the back corner of the closet, and the top shelf has the plastic shoe boxes of fabric scraps and the large pieces of denim.  And I still have fabric in the floor.  Hubby offered to buy me another cabinet.  Only one fits in the closet anyway, the other is sitting in the spot previously occupied by the school desk, so he suggested we stack another on top.  I'm kind of suprised he didn't suggest we get rid of a lot of fabric, but then again,  maybe he's having flash backs of the last two times he suggested we get rid of fabric. Yes, you should feel sorry for him, and I should cut him some slack.  We could, technically, fit more in the closet, but when things become hard to get to, they're also hard to put back and that's when things are most apt to continually get disorganized.  I'm trying to create a system that makes it fairly easy for things to be gotten to or put away as needed.  So far, the room is winning.  I'm not as motivated as I should be, and since the job is too big to do in a single day, I keep having to walk into chaos, which is a little depressing.   I know I'll be much happier once it's done, but to be honest, I'm kind of glad I have a bunch of errands that need to be done tomorrow (the van needs tires and an inspection - yay??).
Anybody got any motivational ideas??


Friday, July 23, 2010

Closing the Laundry Room Door

It happens.  We all get behind on occasion and I am certainly no exception.  With everything thats been happening the last, oh, 6mos. or so, most of the laundry duties have fallen to the girls (mostly Kay).  I've told them when to put in loads, transfer loads, fold loads, etc, but I've not actually done much of it myself.  So the inevitable happened.  Laundry wasn't getting finished, things were being dried that shouldn't be (hey, I'm guilty of that once or twice myself), some of the whites were on the dingy side, and the laundry room was a complete disaster.  But, something always comes along that will force our hand when we're procrastinating.  For me it was having a brand new, white tee-shirt come out of the wash with a mysterious, dark blue stain (too much blueing in the wash??), follow up closley by a new red skirt washed with a load of darks - you can guess where I'm going with that.  Thankfully, some fabrics attract dye better than others and one of my old work dresses apparently  has that ability, so no big losses.  At any rate, my hand was forced and I marched in there Tuesday morning on a mission.  I pulled everything I could out of the laundry room (it's like a large closet - enough room for the washer, dryer, and some baskets/bins for laundry, but you can't really get in there and walk around), sorted the laundry that was there and started washing. Since it was the day for milk, and I was going to be gone all day, I asigned one of the girls the task of getting behind the machines and pulling out everything that had fallen back there.  I also wanted the machines wiped down and the floor swept and mopped.  I started back on the washing as soon as I got home.  Wed. morning I called for all laundry, anywhere to be brought down, and worked on that around tutoring, Beenie's guitar lessons and errands.  Thurs. I started on all the bedding.  By bed time I was pulling the last of the laundry, a load of delicates, out of the washer to hang dry on a rack in the sun room overnight. During this 3 day laundry marathon, the laundry room doors were never closed.  So, it was with great satisfaction (and one more glance at the empty laundry baskets) that the last thing I did before going to bed last night was to close the laundry room doors. 


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can you guess what we're up to over here?

You guessed it! Time for peaches.

That's not all we've been doing though.
Blackberries (though these may have actually
been Dewberries-not much difference to speak of).
And blueberries.
These were the big ones I used for jam.
These were smaller and we froze them for
 use later in muffins, or to mix with applesauce.
They were very sweet so 1 box disappeared immediately.
I'm not even sure they were washed.  Sometimes you
just have to pray for their health.

We ended up with a gallon each of the blackberries and the large blueberries and 1 & 1/2 gallons of the small blueberries.

I made a mixed berry jam using the strawberries we had picked and frozen in the spring along with the blueberries and the blackberries.  I don't really care for raspberries so I like this particular combination much better for mixed berry jam.  I let Grandma taste the sample batch I made and she declared it was the best she had ever tasted; even surpassing her favorite jelly which her Grandmother used to make.  A statement like that sure does make you feel good.

I've got to get some more peaches - we've only done 1 & 1/2 bushels so far (welllll, we bought 1&1/2 bushels, nowhere near that many made it all the way to the canner), and I have some nectarines waiting to be turned into Salvation Jam, which is a combination of nectarine, pineapple juice, and pineapple sage.  I can't wait to try it.

Right now I've got a whole buch of basil drying out.  It smells sooooo good.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why I can relate to, "That Little Chap That Follows Me"

A careful man I want to be,
     A little fellow follows me
I do not dare to go astray,
     For fear he'll go the self same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes.
     Whate're he sees me do he tries,
Like me he says he wants to be,
     That little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am big and fine,
     He trusts in every word of mine.
The sin in me he does not see,
     That little chap that follows me.

I must remember as I go
     Through summer sun and winter snow,
I am building for the years to be
     That little chap who follows me.

Lord, let my little chap to see
     A follower leaning hard on thee;
That as he grows he'll be inspired
     To seek the One whom I desire.

The first part of the poem is a good general reminder that our children will follow us, so therefore, our behavior needs to be what we want to see in them.
But, it is the last stanza of the poem that most speaks to my heart.

Years ago I miscarried our first baby.  Then, when our first-born was about 1 year old, I was re-reading a book someone had given me after that miscarriage; "I'll Hold You In Heaven", by Jack Hayford.  I was praying my child would get to know Jesus.  I wanted both of my children to one day be in heaven.  Then, out of the blue, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, telling me that she wouldn't go if I didn't.  There was a small part of me that wanted to resist what my heart was telling me.  After all, I went to church (off and on, and at that time, on), I had followed one of those group, repeat after me sinners prayers at some youth function when I was about 12, I had half-heartedly prayed the same sort of thing several other times, other people thought of me as a believer.  Wasn't I okay? No.  And although that small part was talking, it was hushed very quickly by the greater part of me that knew I wasn't saved.  So I asked Jesus to help me.  That's all.  Nothing fancy. I have occasionally wished that there was more to it, but those feelings have generally happened when in a larger group where people have these fantastic conversion stories; how God moved on them so powerfully that they couldn't keep their seat, or they couldn't move from where they were, or couldn't sleep another wink until they settled things with God.  In short, when I was comparing myself to others.
But, I'm not "other people".  I wasn't raised in church, fell out, and then came back (I wasn't raised in church at all-the youth function thing was rare).  I wasn't strung out on drugs, in danger of dying anytime from an overdose.  I wasn't an alcoholic, abuser, thief, or anything else.  I was just a "normal" everyday person, leading a fairly quiet life.  Most people thought of me as good, and I probably did too - after all, I wasn't in one of the aforementioned groups.  So what does it take to get the attention of someone who is a pretty good person?  One who doesn't really do anything bad; who does her best to treat people well and live up to her responsibilities? Well, in my case, it was getting straight to my heart - which was my child.  When I realized that her salvation could hinge on my own, my heart was forced to accept the fact that I wasn't saved.  That I wasn't "okay". That I wasn't good enough.  That only Jesus could save me. That only by following Him myself could I teach my child the necessity of following, and trusting Him for her own salvation.

Needless to say, I'm not perfect.  I've not always done what I should do. I've occasionally let circumstances or influences (or my own wicked heart) turn me from following the right path. I've gotten discouraged and left church from time to time (it's easy to focus on people instead of God), or just gotten sidetracked, or lazy in my Bible reading (which can lead to it's own problems). BUT, I'm in a different place now than I was then.  I've grown a great deal. I see so many things so much differently.  I often laugh at the change in some of my opinions and attitudes, and sometimes I'm very much chagrined when remembering things I believed, or more especially, things I've said.  We defininately do not remain static when we're following God.

There is a challenge in the last stanza of the poem for all Christian parents;  imparting to our children a desire for God in their lives, but in doing this we must also impress in them an urgent desire to pass that belief on to their own children.  


Thursday, July 8, 2010

A New Species of Butterfly in My Garden

She was spotted with T.Lynn at the zucchini.

Meet michievous kidus:
Okay, maybe she's not a real butterfly, but she's
even cuter.  She belongs to the cousin I tutor.
The girls watch her while I teach him.  Yesterday
she found these wings that came on a my size doll
T.Lynn has. T. was trying to help her handle
the veggie plants carefully.

And now for some flowers!



The painted lady (bean) is starting to show color.

All right, the veggies aren't the only things flowering.


I don't really know what this is.  I didn't keep
track of everything I planted as seed.

I don't know what this is either.
So far that's all that's blooming, but
some other things have come up.
We'll see what we get.

These came with Superman on Ri's birthday.