Monday, February 28, 2005

Rise and Shine

It is 6:00 AM and I am awake. I actually woke up on my own about an hour ago. This is a very rare occurrence. I am a night person by nature. My parents had second-shift jobs when I was a kid, and our household was much more alert at night. I've never outgrown it. My daughter, on the other hand, is an "early to bed, early to rise" child. If she is not in bed by 7:00 or, 7:30 at the latest, she has a meltdown of nuclear proportions. But then she hits the ground running very early the next morning (in fact, I can hear her playing in her crib as I write this). Usually, this difference in sleep style means that I regularly come away with about three hours sleep. This makes for a very grouch Mommy and wife most days.

Last night was different.

Peanut went to bed early, as usual. My husband was snoozing in front of the TV, as usual. I was nodding off over my book, and I began to say to myself, "This is crazy!". So I went to bed. At 9:00. And the Earth did not come to a screeching halt.

In fact, this morning has been great. I love being up before my daughter, I can get ready for my day, read my Bible, enjoy the quiet. I think that I'll try going to bed early all of this week, and see if the change continues to work for me.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Remodel

Well, things are almost finished in the kitchen, thank goodness! The cabinets really came out nice. My husband is just finishing the doors. I'll be oh so glad when things are back to normal, but I am really thankful for the extra storage space. I can't wait to start filling them up!


These are the new cabinets. Posted by Hello


 Posted by Hello


 Posted by Hello


This is the state of my kitchen, it matches my state of mind :) Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hope Chest

I was just reading through some comments on another of my favorite blogs, Quiet Life, and the discussion turned to hope chests, which made me remember my own. Any of you out who have children, especially daughters, put this on your to-do list.

I loved my hope chest. It was one of the few traditional things about my upbringing. I spent many years filling it with things that I would need when I had a house of my own. My parents often gave me presents for birthdays and Christmas to help fill it out. ( I still use the iron that I got for Christmas when I was fifteen!) I am a dreamer and a planner, so there was no better activity for me. And when I did get married, and started unpacking it, memories came flooding back and I was surrounded by all of my favorite things.

It doesn't have to be fancy, (mine was only a chest in the most technical sense of the word; a box made of unfinished red cedar planks, with a hinged lid. But it did have my name on it, as I had two sisters and the boxes all looked the same :) and it doesn't even have to be a chest. I had a friend whose parents gave her a huge steamer-type trunk to fill. The important thing is to put into practice the art of preparing for the future and doing handiwork at the same time.

One of my very first embroidery projects was for my hope chest, a very ugly pair of pot holders that reside in my kitchen to this day. I have doilies and pillowcases that I decorated myself. Afghans and needlepoint samplers, and my baby things that I was able to use for my own daughter. My home is filled with a tangible record of my own girlhood.

Now, I know that some may think that doilies and needlepoint just aren't practical ways to use your time in this day and age, but I will tell you that the skills learned in doing them ( patience, self-sufficientcy, industry, pride in your own worth) are. So, fill it with T.V. remote cozies and computer covers if you think that will be more to your own tastes, but start one for your daughter and make her help fill it. She will thank you when she is grown and out on her own.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I've Been Distracted...

Yes, I'm still here, to put to rest a few worried e-mails. It's been quite a weekend for us. We have started work on our kitchen remodel and most of the weekend was used up purchasing supplies and oiling cabinets. My husband is putting in three new pantry style cabinets for me, to help deal with the clutter around here. They are 2 feet wide and 7 feet tall. I can't wait to start filling them up! We have a real storage issue around here, with no attic or basement. I am so excited about the extra space!

Also, our faithful old computer died on Friday night. We built it six years ago, so I guess I can't complain. It was one notch above a Flintstone's style bird with a chisel and stone system. But now we have a lovely new one, with all kinds of bells and whistles. I'm still working on breaking it in (kinda like a new pair of shoes) and isn't quite a comfortable fit yet.

Friday, February 18, 2005

A Random Thought

I'm sitting here at my desk, just a few feet away from the stove, on which I'm boiling eggs for egg salad. The house is quite because the baby is in bed and I can hear the chittering of the eggs as their shells hit the bottom of the pan. It's a nice little sound.
Would anyone like to see how horrible and neglectful I am to my child? Peanut cooked up this little mess in the ten minutes that it took me to check my email this afternoon. She emptied out the bottom two shelves of a movie rack and dumped out a box of recipe cards and my cookbooks. The saddest part is that I was only two feet away, and totaly oblivious! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Jackpot!

Today was a great day for unexpected finds! I was coming home from a very fruitful trip to my favorite used children's clothing store in our county seat and I noticed a sign that almost made me slam on the brakes. "Books, $2.00 a Bag", right there in the Goodwill window. I wouldn't have been much happier if it had said, "Free bags of Money Inside". I love to go into a thrift store and dig through piles of books! You never know what will be there, and at such a price!

I walk in the door, and in addition to the usual book racks, there are boxes and boxes of books lined up down the middle of the store. The clerk told me that they had three different, HUGE, donations of books come in at the same time, and they needed to clean house, thus, the sale. I was in heaven!

After wading through the mountains of Harlequin Romances and old computer manuals I found some really great stuff. Many books that I had been looking for, for Peanut (per number 92 on my 101 in 1001 list). Some great teacher's editions that I can put away for future homeschooling use. Some classics and not-so-classics for myself. And a whole stack of "Victoria" magazines (mostly Christmas and fall issues. Yum!)! Best of all, when added up, the whole lot cost me roughly .11 a piece.

I sit here in my office surrounded by stacks of great old, new friends. I can't wait to dig in!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Working Hard

My husband just called me from work to ask a question.

"Hello! I need to know who wrote 'War and Peace'?"

Now mind you, my husband is not a teacher or a writer. He does not work at a library, nor does his employment involve anything literary. In fact, he works for the government in a civilian capacity, and that is all that I can say (not to sound James Bond-ish or anything). So, I was taken a little aback by his odd and abrupt question.

"Leo Tolstoy. What do you need to know that for?"

"I'm on a break."

"Ooookaaaay... What are you doing?"

"Playing cards."

I myself have never played a card game that required me to know the author of a classic novel (and trust me, if one had existed, I would have played it!), and I am sure that my hubby isn't playing one. I hear laughing in the background, a bunch of guys drinking coffee and goofing around. My curiosity is truly piqued at this point, but my wonderings are interrupted.

"How do you spell that?"

"What? Spell? T-O-L-..."

"Nevermind, it's my turn to deal. Love you, bye"

The only logical thing that I can come up with is that my husband is helping a buddy do a crossword puzzle (he would never be doing one himself, unless required to do it under punishment of death). But why would they be doing a puzzle while playing cards? And why call me at home to answer it for them?

I can just picture the conversation...

Co-Worker 1:"Hey, Brian, do you know a seven-letter word for the author of 'War and Peace'?"

My Hubby:"'War and Peace'? Never heard of it, but I'll call my wife at home and ask her. She's read everything"

Co-Worker 1:"Thank you so much! I just could not have gone back to concentrating on my super-important job without knowing the answer to eleven-down!"

I am not implying that my husband is dumb; quite the contrary is true. But he hates reading books. Period. Even when we were in high school, he did all of his book reports by watching the movie. And the fact that he associates with guys at work who actually do the crossword puzzle makes me see him in a whole different light.

Also, on a side note, I wish I had a job where someone would pay me to sit down every hour and a half and play cards! I'm thankful that my hubby doesn't have to do extremely physically demanding labor to provide for us, and I'm thankful that his job pays well enough that I can stay home with our daughter. But he doesn't have to call me up to remind me just how hard his job really is by asking me random trivia questions and then cutting said conversation off because it is his turn to deal. All the while, asking me everyday, "What do you do all day long while you are at home?"


Ahh, the double standard of married life!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Cabin Fever

We had a short spell of warm weather here and now my family is tearing at the door to get outside. Every morning, as soon as we wake up, Peanut wants to go open the door and step outside. We stand there in our pajamas, and watch the sun come up over the houses. She is so eager to get out in the dirt. This is the first time that she will be old enough to go outside and tear around. Last summer she was too small yet. She stands at the back door, staring out at the patio, pointing to the few birds and rabbits venturing around in our yard.

The only downside to the nice, warm, spring-jacket weather, is that now it's getting cold and cloudy again. Winter isn't through with us yet, and that little taste seems to make the cold even harder to bear. I myself prefer the winter weather, but I am definitely in the minority around this house.

Soon enough though, we will be out digging in the garden and feeding the birds. The time just flies by so fast anymore. I can't believe that my little baby is climbing up in Daddy's jeep, begging for a ride, all on her own. This Spring and Summer are going to be so much fun!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Update

The truth has come out in the story of the little boy in Florida. He was not thrown from the car, as the "eyewitness" claimed. It turns out that the woman who brought the baby to the sheriff's office, was actually the mother. She didn't want the baby, and created the story to hide the pregnancy from her family.

This makes the story less brutal, but no less sad.

How???

I can't sleep tonight. I've been crying. I made the mistake of reading through a few news stories before going to bed, something I rarely do. I came across the story of the one hour old baby boy that was tossed from the window of a moving car in Florida today. I'm haunted. How could anyone do this? I can not fathom the idea that precious human life is so worthless to some people. The eyewitness said she saw a man and a woman fighting in the front seat, the window rolled down and the woman tossed a plastic bag, containing the healthy, full-term, baby boy about four feet where it landed on the grass, and then the car sped away. The woman took the baby to the sheriff's office, and they rushed him to the hospital. He has been upgraded from critical to serious condition as of tonight. The baby was over eight pounds, and still had the umbilical cord attached. They say he was around an hour old when he was dumped. The whole scene keeps running through my mind.

Stories like this, where parents can just throw away the life of their children, give me nightmares for weeks. My husband and I had a lot of trouble conceiving a child. It's not exactly a secret among our friends and family, but we don't discuss it much. It took us almost three years to get pregnant with our little Peanut, and during that time, I had many crises of faith. I would sit up nights, questioning God, wondering why he would give children to people like the ones in the story above, and not bless us with the child that I wanted so desperately. Could I really be so bad a potential mother that baby-killing women would do a better job than me? Truthfully, I learned the hard way some very important lessons about trusting in God's perfect timing, and not without a lot of questioning, ordering, and trying to make deals. It was a very dark time for me, when it seemed that everyone else was having the babies that I could not have.

God truly knows best though. Now that I am on the other side of the trial, I see that the timing just wasn't right before. I look back at all of the events that were being set in motion during that dark time, and I see how much harder things would have been for us, had I conceived when I wanted to. It has really opened my eyes about trusting in God to know what is best for me, and trying to seek his will in situations and not my own. That's not to say that I don't sometimes fall back into ordering and cajoling God to give me my own way, but I am a work in progress, just like everyone else.

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It never ceases to amaze me, how I can sit down to this blog, with a topic in mind, knowing full well what I want to write about, and the Holy Spirit will lead my thoughts in the direction that answers what is ACTUALLY on my mind. I know in my heart that God has that little boy in his hands, and God has plans to use him and his story to work some part of the plan for those of us here on Earth. I think I may be able to sleep now. God bless you, anonymous little boy in Florida, and God bless all of those little children out there who have no one but Himself to protect and comfort them. And God bless all of you who read my blog.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Confessions of a Pack Rat

It is truly is a disease. I can't throw away anything that might be remotely useful at some point, no matter how distant. Baby food jars? Never! I can use them for storing homemade fingerpaints for Peanut someday! Old clothes? Gasp! Someone else might be able to wear them, I'm going to make a quilt, we are going to have more babies! Outdated magazines? In a while, right after I copy that recipe/knitting pattern/craft idea/story/poem/quote that caught my eye!

The result of this is a home that starts to look like a storage warehouse. It's doubly disastrous when you live in a small house with no basement or attic and limited outside storage. Add on top of that the fact that I indulge in several different crafting hobbies (for each of which I own enough supplies to merit a room of its own) and a healthy addiction to books. It's is frankly a wonder that I have not perished at the bottom of one of my collapsed piles of junk, crushed by the very weight of it, clutching an armful of old magazines and three balls of yarn.

My husband mostly takes all of this in stride, although sometimes I can see in his eyes this wild look that speaks to how much this all bothers him. He was raised an only child in a very neat and organized, everything in its proper place, don't sit on the furniture, kind of house. His parents are lovely people, but two generations removed from my own, and were raised in a very different sort of time. They waited to have their child when they were older and "could afford it" and their mindset really shows in the way my husband prefers his home to look.

I on the other hand was raised by very bohemian, hippie parents who had me when they were nineteen, had a second child at 22 and divorced soon after that. They were growing up right along with their children and maintained a very relaxed but very messy (I can remember times when I was young that the dished went unwashed for two weeks!) home. We also moved quite a bit after the divorce, from one apartment to another, never staying very long anywhere. I'm sure that this transitory existence is a big factor in my need to hang on to things, and my tendency towards being a homebody.

All analytical psychology aside, I really need to find something to do with all of this stuff! My husband has made some murmurings about putting in new shelves and cupboards with our income tax return. Let's hope so! It's so nice to have a husband who is handy enough to do all of our own carpentry work!

Oh, before I forget, the whole reason I actually started this post. While digging through said piles, I found a few issue of my absolute favorite magazine tonight, Mary Jane's Farm. It's half magazine, half catalog, and all scrumptious! They cover all kinds of topics that might interest farmgirls and farmgirls-at-heart with no ads except for their own products (which I might add are organic foods, keen old-style needle work, and the most delicious shoes you ever laid eyes on!). What I wouldn't give to spend a week at their "Pay Dirt Farm School"! They have only had five or six issues, but I am hooked. It is sometimes hard to find them at your local newsstand, but you can order current and back issues from their website. And yes, they are so worth the almost six dollars an issue price. This is one magazine that even those not afflicted with packrat-itis will hang onto indefinitely!

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Answers

Here are the answers to thicketdweller's questions.

1. How does your faith differ from others'?

I don't really classify myself as one specific religion or another. I was raised in a Baptist church, where the message was a good one, but the people often made for a bad representation of a Christian. All through high school, I explored a lot of different religions and churches. I found that all of them had something that I could relate to, but I agreed with none of them completely. When I got married, I moved to my husband's church, also Baptist, but my husband and his family weren't as strictly religious as my family had been, so I found that we attended services less and less when there was something else that wanted our attention. Right now we are bouncing from church to church, trying to find a nice fit.

But that doesn't really answer to my faith. I'd say that my personal faith is founded on service to others. I feel that the best way to show Christ's love, and therefore get across the message of his salvation, is by example. People should see in me a difference, and wonder what makes that difference. Words are only viable if they are backed up by deeds. I believe that only by helping and serving others, can you understand what it means to be a Christian. We must love everybody and treat them as brothers and sisters.

That isn't to say that our own good deeds will get us to heaven, just that people respond much more to what they see than what you say. You can witness and put on a show and stand on the street corner shouting about doom and salvation all day long, but it will never bring people to Christ the way that a kind and thoughtful word or a well timed deed of goodness and self sacrifice will. I guess that's how my faith differs from others, I don't believe that cramming religion and salvation down someone's throat will make them want to come to Christ.


2. What motivates you most?

The needs and wants of my loved ones. Nothing gets me moving more than knowing that someone in my family needs something or would really enjoy something.

3. How many grandchildren do you hope to have?

I hope for at least 4 or 5, but I'd be fine with 100! (Sorry Peanut!)

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Well, What Do You Want to Know?

Everyone try this out. I got this from my blogfriend, thicketdweller. TD got it from Reverend Mommy who got this from Michael at Bloggin' Idiot who passed it to Fish and Liesa and who got it from Unspace who got from Therapy Failed who got it from Dell who stole it from Stacey who lifted it from Big Orange Michael who borrowed it from All Things Jen(nifer) who picked it up at Master Foley's Blog:

First, recommend to me:
1. A movie:
2. A book:
3. A musical artist, song, or album:

Next, I want everyone who reads this to ask me three questions, no more, no less. Ask me anything you want. (I will respond in subsequent posts. I reserve the right to not answer questions that might hurt someone else or that might be grossly inappropriate for my blog.)

Then, I want you to go to your blog, copy and paste this allowing your friends to ask you anything they want!

Friday, February 4, 2005

Moving On

Things are getting back to normal. The house needed to be cleaned with a shovel and pick axe, as it was getting very deep around here. But I feel like we are settling back into a nice equilibrium. I have a birthday party and baby shower to finish gifts for, so I need to get myself in gear. I didn't knit at all while I was sick. I just felt like I would be knitting my cold into those cute little baby booties, and I couldn't live with the idea. Also, I just started reading "The DaVinci Code" tonight. Yeah, I know I'm a little behind the trends, but I don't mind. I am interested to see what all of the hype is about. What I do like about the edition I am reading is that it is illustrated. So there are photos of all of the paintings, objects and places referred to in the story. It has also made me decide that should my husband die before I do, God forbid it please, I am going to spend a summer at the Louvre looking at art! (He shudders at the idea, or I would gladly take him with me!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Thank You All!

I just wanted to thank you all out there who prayed for my daughter and I last night and today. It worked wonderfully well. I have never seen such a quick turn around for a cold in all my life. Peanut is almost completely better except for a little runny nose and I just have a few sniffles. We are so much better! No one should ever doubt the power of prayer. Even if you are asked to pray for someone that you have never met, and you think that it will make no difference, do it. We should all take every opportunity to prove the Lord to ourselves and everyone around us. He works in big AND small ways; we should never forget that. God told his disciples that if they only had faith the size of a mustard seed, they could tell the mountains to move, and they would obey. It really only takes the tiniest bit of belief to make great things happen. Never pass up an opportunity to pray for someone. If God brings something to your attention, rest assured that it is no coincidence!

Wow, I really didn't mean to preach a sermon. I guess that is just the Lord bringing things to my attention!

Tuesday, February 1, 2005

"Cough, Cough, Wheeze!"

I am sick , again. I can't believe it. Truthfully, I usually never get sick. I usually walk through winter , totally immune to whatever bug that is going around. And it's not because I now have a child, as my mother keeps insisting. I used to work as a nanny, wiping noses and covering coughs; I never had a problem. My dad says it is because we all didn't get of flu shots this year, but I never get a flu shot, I never have. We just seem to be running the gauntlet of winter illnesses this year.

I spent all of last night walking the floor with my 14 month old daughter. She has a cough that sounds like the late stages of black lung. She can't lie down, because she coughs, she can't sleep because she coughs, frankly she can't get any kind of comfort because she coughs. The scariest thing is that she was perfectly fine yesterday morning and afternoon. She had a little runny nose but that is it. The doctor had even said that she was fine. Then last night I start to hear this hacking coming from her room.

Here is hoping that tonight goes a little better. I didn't even go to sleep until nine this morning. Please keep us in your prayers!