Thursday, January 27, 2011

CHALLENGES, CHALLENGES. . .

I admit it. I like to lurk on the web and I have come to the conclusion that everbody and their grandma has a New Year's Challenge posted. Not that that's a bad thing. I just feel if I can't start (and finish) every one that I like, well, what's the use?  I tend to have those perfectionistic tendencies. I know, I know, if you would look at my life, you wouldn't believe that I am a perfectionist.  Before childbirth and nursing school, I actually had it together. Somewhere along the way I lost it, along with most of my mind! lol. . .
Come to think of it, childbirth and nursing school are kind of alike: Sometimes it's a hard to obtain dream.  Once you're there, you feel like it's never going to end.  After it's over you sometimes find yourself wondering how you made it through, but you're very glad you did!
I love my Little Man.  Come to think of it, there is one more similarity between childbirth and nursing school: No matter what else you accomplish in your life, you WILL make a difference in someone else's. . .

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Very productive day. . .

Today, I am very proud of myself. I did not sit and helicopter over Little Man while he was doing his homeschool work (much to his chagrin).  I stayed in the kitchen.  What did I do in the kitchen? Well, I canned 7 1/2 quarts of tomato puree from our harvest last season, made a huge pot of chicken and sausage gumbo, and made Gil a pecan pie he asked for at Christmas time. With all the cookies and candies, who had time for pie?

Tomatoes in January??? you ask. Yes, during the summer when we have tomatoes coming out of our ears and we just can't eat 'em all, I core and freeze 'em.  It's too hot to heat up my kitchen to can.  Then, when it is cold outside and the added heat from the stove is welcomed, I defrost the tomatoes (now a bag of tomato water and mushy, deflated tomatoes).  When they are still a little icy, I peel 'em.  The skins just fall right off! I currently have enough salsa for Gil til the summer. I think.  That man eats some salsa!  So today, I simply stewed and pureed them for spaghetti sauce, veggie beef soup, and whatever else I need sauce for.  I hope I never have to buy another can of tomatoes or sauce EVER.  I would love to move more toward self-sufficiency.  Is this a resolution for 2012?  We'll see then, I guess. . .

Monday, January 24, 2011

Making do. . .

My DH, Gil is a hard working man.  However, he works in an industry that depends on good weather and high demand in the local lumber mills. Well, it is the wet season. Here in the south we don't have snow, we have "wet" in winter and "dry" in the summer. That means since there is little-to-no money coming in, we have decided that we will be, as my 96-ish year old Grandma would say, "making do."  We have opted for a spending moratorium for anything unnecessary-no trips to Wally World, Kroger, Staples, garage sales, well you get the point.  As if that weren't un-American enough, we have taken it one step further effective Wednesday--no satellite service for 2 months!! Little Man wasn't happy (and I have to say, it was kinda painful for me to make the call!).  I know, however, this is temporary and what the heck-probably gonna be good for us to get back to being a family, not just people congregating around the boob tube for the latest round of reality TV/hunting/cooking/home improvement shows. (Truth be told, I kinda have been wondering what no TV would be like-shhh-don't tell Gil or Little Man they would think I'm nuts!!)  You know what-God promises that if we are good stewards over little, He would make us stewards over much.  But before that, we must put our trust in Him to provide what we NEED, not necessarily what we WANT.  So, Heavenly Father, I am trusting in you to provide my needs. . .

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm cold. . .

I love being southern because of warm weather! There are other things, but when the mercury approaches freezing, so does my brain.  I can't think straight, I just want to be warm right now.  It is now 32 degrees-I know it's not cold for some regions of the great USA, but I'm almost a popsicle!   AND The Weather Channel just HAD to rub it in my face that Hawaii was reaching a high in the 80s today. (Did I mention I'm cold?)  Ok, so I'm whining right now-(suck it up and put your big girl panties on, Marla!)
I did have a brief moment of warm goodness today while baking a batch of snickerdoodles for Little Man and Gil.  Baking makes me happy. Here's to baking and warm thoughts. . .

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cuttin through the chaos. . .

Today was the day...I was FINALLY going to cut through the chaos that is my life.  Ya see, I like to think I have it all together until I take a step back and realize that I DID have it together for a little while after we got married (15 years ago! Boy, talk about living in the past).  But that was before--before nursing school, before Little Man, before this life I have now.
ANYWAY. . .
I did it! I tackled the utility/laundry/pantry.  I had very little room to even walk in there-much less get anything done. Most days, the door wouldn't even shut.  If the door did shut, I couldn't THINK about opening the pantry without a major rearranging dance (laundry detergent, broom, a basket of things to put away/give away/return to their proper owner, dirty clothes, clean--well, you get the picture)  Speaking of pictures, I didn't take any "befores"-no self-respecting (=prideful-oh no! not the P word) southern woman would do such a thing!
I tossed a ton of plastic bags (another P word!) into my car for a quick trip to the recycler, Hubs (Gil) brought a laundry sorter to the metal recyclers, hangers that will go to a local thrift shop and wait for it. . .I tossed dried roses Gil sent me for my 10 year wedding anniversary (it's been 15, remember).  I had grandiose dreams of turning that into a "Martha Stewart"-esque wreath to hang in my living room.  I gave up the dream today :(
When it was all said and done, my utility room is one I can now walk in, open the pantry without pain, and I even made enough room for the trash can!! And I even took pics (will post later). Victory!  What will I tackle tomorrow?  Who knows, I don't have a plan for cleaning my house, I'm too busy living in the Nirvana in my mind!

Monday, January 17, 2011

11 things in 2011. . .

Here I sit with a nice cup of Community (that's coffee for those not in Louisiana ), pondering the new year.  (Yes, I realize January is 1/2 way over with).  I like to take my time to think about my life and how to improve it. In the spirit of 2011, I think I've finally narrowed the list down.  It would take way more than 11 things to get me where I want to be. So, here they are:
1.  Make one healthy change per week.
2.  Scrapbook (or sew) one day each month.
3.  Plan my family's menu (and actually cook it!).
4.  Try something new each month. (January=blog=check!)
5.  Read the Bible more.
6.  Make a budget (and actually stick to it!).
7.  Submit to Hubs and be a helper to him (VERY difficult for a hard head like me).
8.  Show love to others more and serve when/where needed.
9.  Early to bed, early to rise!
10. Be "all in".
11. Finish what I start.


and my word of the year:  STEWARDSHIP.  I have heard that word a lot in church, but have never really tried to incorporate in anything other than my tithe.  This year I want to focus on being a good steward of money, time, resources, and other blessings such as family and relationships (these are the best commodities to take care of).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Visual noise...

I love homeschooling my son, however, we have issues- like visual noise.  What is visual noise? It's trying to concentrate on how he is spelling his words while he's flailing about like a fish out of water!! I can't hear him, because he is so distracting visually.  He has always done this-even reviewing spelling words in public school. So, please baby, Shhh-quiten down the visual noise!