Monday, February 10, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday: February 10, 2020

Good...afternoon. I was up with the sun this morning, but there was so much to get done that I'm just now sitting down to get this post up.

The Weather: Hot and cold, literally. We were in the 60's, then we had snow, and now it's raining. I keep wondering what the hold up is with Spring, and then I remember that I'm in the mountains. And it's February And I have at least a month of this up and down stuff. We're supposed to warm up this week, and then temps plummet again this weekend.

How I am feeling this morning: Resolute. I realized this weekend how incredibly burned out I am.
A bit of background. When Ella was 4 months old, I went back to work full time (and then some). At one point, I was working 80-90 hours a week, and my health suffered so badly for it. I actually had to leave my job due to health issues...and that was for the best.
Currently, I'm working a ton. And now I'm 14 years older, and I have two kids.
I'm not going to quit my job, but I do need to take some more time for me.

On my mind: The aforementioned resolution to take better care of what I need.

On the breakfast plate: Leftover chicken stew, iced tea and two mini donuts. No regrets!

On my reading pile: Everything I mentioned last week. Things got thrown into a tailspin, because the girls and I are house sitting this week and next week.

On my T.V.: I fell asleep during yesterday's episode of Dare Me, so I have to rewatch that. Ella and I are going to watch Lifetime's "Neighbor in the Window" because it looks so creepy and apparently it's based on a true story. (But aren't they all???) I love having a teenager I can share these terrible movies with.

I started "Dirty John", but haven't gotten very far. Mom Life and all that. It does make me think about how terribly conniving people can be. Yikes.

On the menu this week: House sitting, so I haven't written down a definite menu, but we are having breakfast for dinner tonight. Tomorrow, I'm making a pizza with a puff pastry crust, which is the easiest thing ever. Beef vegetable soup at some point because this rainy weather calls for it. I saw a recipe for tomato parmesan soup which I will be attempting when the kids are with Gabe this weekend.

From the camera: 

The sunrise this morning.

Looking around the house: It's not my house this week, it's my boss's. Things are tidy and organized, but I have some light housework to do here and there.

Chore I'm not looking forward to: Vacuuming. Josie hates the vacuum right now, and gets very upset when I run it. So, I have to think of a diversion and either I take her outside and Ella vacuums, or Ella takes her outside and I vacuum. Either way, it's a lot of work just to vacuum a few rugs. Sigh.

To relax this week, I will: Send my kids to see Gabe this weekend, bwa ha ha :)

On my prayer list: A friend going through cancer treatments, friends waiting to hear back about a loan, my little family.

Devotional, Bible Verse: 

Have a wonderful week, everybody!!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday: February 3, 2020

I'm incredibly late putting up this post, but only because today was a gorgeous day, I had a work thing to attend, and then chose to spend the rest of this gorgeous day with my kids.

The Weather: Today was gorgeous. Sunny, mid-60's, a springtime dream. It's supposed to cool off little by little, and we may even have some snow by the end of the week. It's February, after all.

How I am feeling this evening: The weather has me in good spirits. I got a lot done today, but I am absolutely exhausted.

On my mind: Everything from a running grocery list to "what scent should I put in the wax warmer?" It's a mess up in there, ha.

On the breakfast plate: I had a scone for breakfast. My boss is Welsh, and he makes amazing scones. I had one with some butter, and I had tea. That sounds almost like proper breakfast food.

On my reading pile: "Uninvited" by Lysa TerKeurst. I haven't read so much as a page in it yet, and haven't really touched "A Man Called Ove". BUT I did finish Songs for the Missing and it was every bit as heartbreaking as I thought it would be.

The goal this week is to get at least three chapters into Uninvited and at least crack open Ove.

On my T.V.: I'm re-watching CSI...because I've had a schoolgirl crush on Gil Grissom/ William Petersen since forever.
Also, going to attempt to watch Very Valentine on Lifetime. Adriana Trigiani can do no wrong in my opinion, but Lifetime better not take too many liberties.

On the menu this week: Oh, man. Full disclosure: This week is gonna be a disaster. My boss is going out of town, which means the girls and I are house sitting. Which means dinner is going to be weird for a few days. But I made Italian Chowder (like Zuppa Toscana, just more veggies) today, and I'm making a pork roast with vegetables tomorrow. Might do a beef and cabbage skillet on Wednesday. Thursday afternoon is when the girls and I leave, so I might just order a pizza for Gabe to have here, and get another one to go for us.

From the camera: 

My mop-topped youngest child can apparently climb playground equipment by herself now. SIGH. Why do they have to grow up?

Looking around the house: I'm quite pleased with what I see. No complaints here. It's quiet.

Chore I'm not looking forward to this week: Clearing out the laundry room of odds and ends. Stuff just builds up, y'all, and it's gotten to the point where it has thoroughly annoyed me. But does it annoy me more than actually cleaning it out? Time will tell...

To relax this week, I will: I have Wednesday off (allegedly), so I will sleep in (supposedly). We'll see!

On my prayer list: My Mom in Wisconsin, my sister recovering from a car accident, this country, the whole world.

Bible Verse/Devotional: 

Have a beautiful week!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

On Basic Human Decency

A while ago, I saw a movie where a girl pretends to be pregnant, to see if people treat her any differently.  I think it was called The Pregnancy Project. People DID treat her differently, it was sobering to see how people's judgments of a situation affect the way they behave toward others.

Over the last year, I've lost a bunch of weight.
When I was bigger, nobody was ever mean to me about it. (Although one guy, while under the influence of who knows what called me "that fat girl", and a friend told me "Well, you were never really *that* big)
But, I've noticed, since losing the weight, people are quicker to be nicer to me. A door held open here, a smile there.

And honestly it makes me sad.

Because I've seen people judging others. Based on their size. Or their race. Or their gender. Or gender preference.

It happens so often.  There's a person bigger than you at the grocery store, and you make a little judgment about what they are buying.

You find out someone you know has had an abortion, and you immediately jump to conclusions.

There's an interracial couple, and judgments are made.

Someone you know comes out of the closet and the gay slurs fly.

Is this what our world is reduced to?

In a world that celebrates individuality, why are we so quick to judge someone who is different? Why does someone's size, or their skin color, or gender, or sexual affiliation bother us so much?

People's personal lives are none of our business. But it is OUR business to be kind to everybody. Whether you're religious or not, I'm sure you would like to be treated with kindness.

Why are we so quick to preach kindness or acceptance, and then do the exact opposite?

It's 2020, and we are moving backwards.

Please, just be kind. Be a good Christian. Be a good person. Be a good human being. Whatever you are, BE KIND.

Monday, January 27, 2020

On Missing Them

Last week, I started a book called "Songs for the Missing", and I absolutely knew that it was going to break my heart.

I was right, but not in the way you would think, not even in the way that I thought.

The book is about a missing girl, and the way her family deals with the fallout of her going missing, and simply about them missing her.

The situation is certainly heartbreaking, but what broke me was what I read between the lines. Her Dad was my undoing, because he reminded me of my Dad. His name was even Ed. He was a tireless individual, doing everything he could to find his daughter. He would have done anything for his family, the way my Dad always did.

Time going on was also my undoing. The missing girl's younger sister grew up, time went on. Everybody moved on. Time marched on.

Time marches on here, too.
Ella will turn 14 in a few months.
11 days later, Josie will turn 3.

In July, it will be 2 years without my Dad.
On my 37th birthday, Grandpa Bruce will have been gone a whole year.

Time marches on, but it only takes a memory to make it stand painfully still.

One whiff of Caress body wash, and I'm immediately back in grade school, in my Dad's house.
One taste of an Alpine strawberry, and Ella and I are visiting my parents in 2016, following my Dad around his garden, while he shows us everything.

All I have to do is hear "Faded Love" on a violin, and I'm in Grandpa Bruce's living room, watching him play.
Every time I make potato soup, I can still hear him tell me that it's not really potato soup unless I add carrots and celery.

Tonight, the memories are too much. I'm doubled over, crying.
I spent so much time as a loss Mom, who grieved the babies she didn't get to know.
I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to grieve two people I knew very very well. There are so many memories. So many reminders. So much that can absolutely wreck me.

One thing I learned from missing my babies is that there is no easy "over" here.
There is only through.

On snowy nights like this, when I cry for the two men who have shaped my life so much...I have to cry. I have to allow myself to feel this, even if it's terrible and frightening. Because it won't ALWAYS be terrible and frightening. It won't ALWAYS be so dark. I know there's going to be a day when I can look at pictures of Dad and not miss him with such despair. There's going to be a day when I drive past Grandpa's house and not cry.

Until then, I live my life. I hang tight to the fact that as long as someone is missed and loved, they are not really gone. I live the best parts of them and adhere them to my person. I honor their memory.

In that way, they are eternal.

Happy Homemaker Monday: January 27, 2020

Good afternoon, friends. I'm actually at work, typing up this post, and it's been that kind of day. (I had most of the post completed and then it deleted)

The Weather: Honestly, kind of sketchy. We're under a winter weather advisory today, but I don't think we will get anything. Looking ahead, there is a 63 degree day next week. Dare I dream? I dare, I dare :)

How I Am Feeling This Morning: Well, it's afternoon, and I'm feeling pretty good.

On My Mind: Thankfully, not too much. The start of dahlia season, but that is a ways off yet. Hoping tonight's dinner (currently in the crockpot) turns out.

On the breakfast plate: Two British digestive biscuits with milk chocolate, some cucumbers and hummus. I'm absolutely not a breakfast person.

On my reading pile: You know the book that I was going to finish this week? (Songs for the Missing). Yeah...that didn't happen. But I am absolutely going to carve out some reading time tonight. I was right. It IS breaking my heart.
After I finish that, I'm going to start A Man Called Ove. I'm late to the party with that one, but with losing Dad and then Grandpa Bruce, all within a year and a half, I wasn't sure my heart could take it. But, I am going to face it head on and read it.

On my TV: Young Justice, which is not my cup of tea, but I'm watching an episode a day with my teenager.  The things I do for my kids.
A friend recommended Dirty John (on Netflix) to me, and since I love me some crime, I'm going to check it out.
I watched that Chris Watts movie on Lifetime this weekend, and it's still got me shaken. I don't understand how someone could hurt their family that way.

On the menu this week: 
Monday: Pork Carnitas, taco fixins
Tuesday: My Dad's Sausage and Cabbage Stew
Wednesday: Ricotta Rotini
Thursday: Creamy Angel Chicken, Egg Noodles
Friday: Beef and Broccoli, Rice
Saturday: Zuppa Toscana
Sunday: Pork Medallions and Potatoes, Gravy

From the Camera:

Things were a touch icy here this weekend!

Looking Around The House: It looks so much better...but I'm actually at work...and it looks pretty good here too :)

Chore I'm Not Looking Forward To This Week: Reorganizing and scrubbing the kitchen. Sigh. It needs to be done, and I'm picky about the way the kitchen looks, so I'll be the one doing it...with help from Ella, because she's my most responsible child.

To relax this week, I will: Read. Maybe do some painting or lettering.

On my prayer list: 
My pregnant friends, that they may all have healthy babies
The families of those lost in the helicopter crash in California
A friend of mine who has an important job interview tomorrow

Bible Verse/Devotional/Quote:

Have a beautiful week, friends!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

On Giving a Damn

Today I saw this quote...

And at first, I thought, "Right on!"
But then it started to bother me. And bother me. And even after I walked away from the laptop, it was still bothering me.

At one point, many years ago, I didn't give a damn. And I wasn't happy.

And then I did give a damn. Too much, in fact, and about all of the wrong things. And I wasn't happy then either.

Honestly, I think you have to care. You have to "give a damn."

If we don't care about ourselves, that throws our life out of balance. If we don't care about others, the world becomes a pretty sad place.

There are things we shouldn't care about. The weight of other people's judgments. Other people's wrong opinions about us. Those were things I used to care about greatly. If someone said something negative about me, it threw me into a tailspin. After a while, after some growing up and soul searching and realizing that those people are just as messed up as I am, it just didn't matter anymore. Somewhere, I read that "what other people think of you is none of your business, " and it isn't. If someone thinks I'm a great person, great. If they don't, that's great too.

But on the whole, the world is a nicer place and we are nicer people if we care. There is too much wrong on this planet not to.

So, please, give a damn.

At least a little.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday: January 20, 2020

Even with the new blog, I've decided to come back to doing these little posts, because they make me happy.

The Weather:
It's cold! We've had some unexpected snow (the forecast didn't make a peep about snow, and I woke up to an inch and a half on the ground). The roads are absolutely horrific today. Thankfully, after tomorrow, the temperatures are supposed to steadily climb into the 40's, which I will happily take over teens and lower 20's.

How I am feeling this morning: 
Grateful. We have a warm house to sleep in, the pipes didn't freeze. My husband has a job, I have a job. The kids are cared for and happy. We live in a beautiful part of the country. Physically, I am just a little tired.

On my mind: 
Some plumbing stuff I need replaced this week. It's not a big deal, and it shouldn't cost too much. The project I've got going on with rearranging the living room/making a playspace for Josie. Buying a new couch.

On the breakfast plate:
Breakfast food in the morning is not my friend. I had a few potato chips and some crab rangoon dip (don't judge, ha!) It was a nice little breakfast.

On my reading pile:
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
I just started this book, and I can already tell it's going to break my heart.
Since it's so awful outside, maybe I can get some reading done after my chores.

On my T.V.
This week's episode of "Dare Me".
Also, I am already impatient for the next episode of "Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for The Bone Collector" to come out. I'm a huge fan of the books, and the wait for the next episode is killllllling me.
We just finished Zumbo's Just Desserts. No spoilers, but I was not a happy camper at the end.

On the menu this week: 
Monday: My grandmother's vegetable soup
Tuesday: Hamburger Helper, salad
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
Thursday: Stromboli, Salad
Friday: Crockpot Cheesy Potato Soup
Saturday: Cauliflower Kuku
Sunday: Pork Tacos

From the camera: 

The Sphinx spent some time trekking through the fresh snow.

Looking around the house: 
It's definitely in need of TLC, so that's what I'll be doing today, before work and after.

Chore I'm not looking forward to this week: 
The living room carpet. I've hated this carpet since we moved in the house. It's coming up this Spring and I'm not even sad about it. Meanwhile, I have to clean it...ugh.

To relax this week, I will
Read my book, my goal is to finish it this week. I've only had it about three weeks, ha.

On my prayer list: 
I have a few friends that need God's guidance. My Mom in Wisconsin, as always. This whole's a mess.

Devotional/Bible Verse/Quote

Have a beautiful week!!!

Happy Homemaker Monday: February 10, 2020

Good...afternoon. I was up with the sun this morning, but there was so much to get done that I'm just now sitting down to get this post ...