Friday, March 30, 2012

Week 4: Choose Your Own Adventure--and Where' I' ve Been

 Once again we are linking up with Simple Mom  for Project Simplify 2012.  This week we were to choose our own adventure. I mentioned that and my plans here --and then disappeared for the week. Uh Oh. Making a face here. Bad blogger!
  Well, I'll tell ya. The week started out great. I had lots of energy, The Hubby was home to help out. He took J's room and completely cleaned it up minus shampooing or replacing the carpet, which it badly, badly needs. 

 This is the after picture because I forgot to get a before picture. Not showing the floor, sorry, but you do get to see my dear sleeping boy who chose to nap before the sheets were put on his bed. See the part of  the daybed there on the side?  Still not up. Dad needs to get something for it first.

Still, a lot did get done. Two bags of trash came out of there, we found some Tupperware that had gone missing, and also some clothes in bad need of washing. J is great at hiding things but I'm happy to say that J has kept it fairly clean since dad did the big purge, and has been "helping" to keep it neat by throwing unwanted (by him) items out the window. See, this helps mom get more exercise by going outside to pick them up, which is a great idea because....whoa. Wait a minute. Enough of the shenanigans! Mama has enough to do! Time for J man to go outside and pick up the stuff that gets tossed. 
  Next my Sweet Hubby tackled The Bathroom. Miss Dottie, why did those two words get capitalized?  Because Dottie lives in a house with two men and is too lazy terrified to go clean it herself, that's why. Nuff said.

 This right here is NOT a picture of the before of my bathroom. Nope, that's a picture of a sunset I tried to capture with my cheapie but loved camera. I can promise you I DID take before shots which showed all of our mayhem and foolishness in the bathroom, but in uploading pictures to my computer, they somehow disappeared.  Please forgive me, I'm still learning some of the ins and outs of blogging and computers and such. 
 So to get an idea of what the bathroom actually looked like I'll tell you what was done in there.
  • all the laundry that wasn't in the basket was picked up and taken to be washed, along with the stuff that miraculously was in the basket. 
  • The toilet was scrubbed clean.
  • The walls were scrubbed clean (with autism sometimes comes toileting issues. Nuff said)
  • The shower was fixed so that we can actually shower again.
  • The sink was cleaned and cleared of the hair trimmer, the shaving stuff, etc.
  • A new shower curtain was put in place.
For what it's worth, here are the after shots. It's a tiny bathroom and its hard to get great angles so hopefully this gives you an idea.


 Yes, that is a throw on the window instead of curtains. Sorry. That window faces the road which would give anyone a clear shot into my business. I tacked it up when we first moved and sadly haven't bothered to replace it with blinds or real curtains. The whys and the wherefores are an entirely different blog post. If you're wondering, the backwards letters spell out Lampasas. We used to live in Texas several years back.
  So where was miss Dottie during all the cleaning that took place? I was in the kitchen cleaning up some hotspots and clearing out some more clutter. Two bags (from the three rooms) went directly to the trash, two are currently near the front door headed for the thrift store.  
  And then it was time for The Hubby to go back to work...and Dottie started battling low energy and sinus headaches yesterday. I'm still battling a headache today so I'm laying pretty low at the moment. 
 All in all, I've enjoyed Project Simplify 2012. I want to thank Tsh from Simplemom.net for hosting this. While I didn't get as much as I wanted accomplished, I did get a huge head start and am happy with the results. I've also learned that in projects I tend to want to do a lot more in one week than I actually can get accomplished, but that's good. It shows me that I can get things done and also what still needs to be done. I plan to continue challenging myself to make this a better place for my family.
 What about you? Have you followed along all month and spring cleaned along with me, Simple Mom,   and all the other bloggers who have linked up? Are you all done now, or are you inspired to continue? I'd love to hear how your week went.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife: Project Simplify Week Four Plans

Good morning!
  After all the warm weather last week it finally dipped down into the late 60s, early 70s yesterday. While it felt/ feels good, I'm still looking forward to more 80's weather. 
  This is the final week of Simple Mom's Project Simplify 2012. Because of it I've gotten a few things accomplished and I'm liking the results. I've gotten motivated each week as I worked on the spot of the week and I want to continue that. Having a deadline helped me to focus on the task at hand, and because I stated publicly on Simple Mom that I was going to do the project, I felt accountable to do so.  So, next Monday morning I'll let you know what my project of the week is.
  As for the last week of Project Simplify 2012, Tsh is proclaiming it Choose Your Own Adventure. That means we get to choose what we will be cleaning/ organizing/decluttering for the week. As always, I have a lofty goal in mind and look forward to seeing what actually gets accomplished.
  I have The Hubby at home with me for the next few days as he is on his long weekend of the month (gotta love shift changes...sigh) so he has been recruited to help me out. Bless his heart, he deserves a medal already. He cleaned J's room for me yesterday and today gets to tackle the bathroom for me. 
  So what will I be doing while he slaves away, sitting on my fanny eating bon bons and typing away at the computer? Nope. While I will be typing some, I have my own agenda for the week. I want to tackle two hotspots here in the kitchen that have begun to experience clutter creep once again --my baking center and my table. That's just an appetizer as it will take maybe half an hour to restore tranquility to those things. 
  This week I plan on working in two rooms: the living room and the master bedroom. Both are screaming for help right now and there is a lot of interconnection. Specifically, the laundry needs to be put away, the closet needs to be cleaned thoroughly since Angie moved her babies once again (she's now in the kitchen by the washer and dryer. But at least she's out of the way). The dresser is in serious need of declutter. And The Hubby needs to get his tools out of my living room. 
  That should keep us both busy for awhile. So what am I waiting for? I've got dishes in the sink (not happy about letting that one slide for the last few days. Dishes get done everyday, I just lapsed into letting them sit overnight sometimes. Enough of that!) and hot spots to deal with before my two favorite men wake for the day. So what have you got planned for today? Are you in spring cleaning mode? 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife: Week 3, Clearing the Clutter

  Yup, this is week three of Simple Mom's Project Simplify  . Well this week she instructed us to work on closets, cabinets, and counter tops. I was going to work on my bedroom closet because it needs it badly.
 Don't go too googly eyed at Miss Ma'am and her striped babies. In real life her fur isnt that orange. Miss Ma'am, aka Mama, aka Angie, is the reason my closet did not get cleaned this week. She didn't give birth to the kittens in my closet, she just decided to bring them in the house to the safest place she knew of. Oh joy and wonder. Want a kitten? Want two? In about 5 weeks are so the darlings are adoptable.
  Okay, so this is supposed to be about what we actually did. I have a set of shelves one might see in a pantry or garage. It's in my kitchen.

  This is the shelving unit known as the catch all. It brings this reaction to mind:

Its over three minutes long so you dont have to watch the whole thing. But if you do, look for King Kong. The woman screaming there is Faye Raye.

Yes folks, I wanted to scream every time I saw that thing. It holds incoming mail, pots and pans and such that I have no other place to store, and in general, junk! This is what it looks like after two separate sessions of purging, cleaning and organizing. Not perfect, but lots better.





Lots better. My kitchen is almost making me happy to be in it now. Things are coming together nicely. I'm not going to kid myself or you and say that I'll be doing nothing other than cleaning a few other corners of my kitchen all weekend while waiting patiently for Monday's arrival to start the next challenge, but I will be maintaining the progress made and working on a few things today. 
Have a great weekend, all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Be of Good Cheer

Good morning! J has gone to take a nap; the dishes are done, the house is quiet. I glanced over to my left, and there was my bible, sitting patiently and waiting for me to open. It beckons quietly, like a longtime friend waiting to impart wisdom, comfort, joy. God's Word to me is like a well worn quilt that you cuddle up in on chilly evenings or just when you need comfort. It's wisdom is like a cup of tea on a quiet day. The path that Jesus wants us to follow, from becoming a Christian and beginning the race to finishing into heaven is clearly marked for those who want to see it. We only need open the pages of the most precious book, open our hearts in prayer and openness to listen to what God wants us to know. The bible is not a book that should be read through once and put back on the shelf, but rather read over and over, and over again.
  I don't know the scriptures perhaps as well as you do, or I may know a little more than you. Wherever we are on our journey, we learn a little more each time we read. We talk with others about what we've read, we listen to lessons at bible study and worship, we pray about what we've learned. Then (hopefully) we apply that new knowledge in our lives, letting our lights shine by example as well as speaking the truth in love.
  Today I read chapter 16 of the book of John. John is the only one of the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, those precious books each telling their own accounts yet the same account of the life of Jesus here on earth, that spends so much time recording the miracles that Jesus performed, and the words he imparted on the last of his days here.
  In this chapter, again, he is speaking to his disciples, those eleven who would continue his ministry. He reiterates time and again that it is time for him to go. He must carry out The Father's plan and die, but it won't be a permanent death. They don't understand this yet because they haven't seen it. They are confused, saddened that their master is leaving. I don't even think they fully comprehend yet that he is going to die. But they will. And he tells them that they will be scattered because of all of this that is about to take place. He wants his followers to be ready for what is about to happen in their near future.
  He compares the sorrow to a woman in labor in verse 21:
 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
  As mothers we know that to be true. There is much pain and tears while we are in labor. But once our child is born the tears are mixed with laughter, because our little one is finally in our arms for us to nurture and love and raise and enjoy. The pain of birth ceases to exist in our minds because it was all so worth it.
   The last words Jesus speaks in this chapter also touch me, and I'll leave you today with these words:
  32. Behold, the hour cometh, yeah, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone, and yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
 Isnt that so wonderful? Jesus has overcome the world. He was speaking to them of the troubles they would see as they would spread the gospel, and he was speaking to us as well. Life isn't always going to be easy. We will have travails in our lives, but it will be so worth it in the end. 
Have a great day    

Day Four of the New Routine

Good morning! I sort of dropped off the radar there for a few days, but I'm back. It is 5:51 AM. Despite getting up at the "late" time of 4:20 or so, I've already made a smoothie breakfast for The Hubby and myself, offered it to J who politely declined, started a load of laundry, fed the cats (who are the best actors in the world by the way.This morning was the starving orphan routine), and started J's breakfast.He's having kielbasa and scrambled eggs. Not bad for a morning.
  Speaking of J, he slept in till about 5 or so this morning. No nap yesterday and the previous night's insomnia did him in. He was in bed asleep by 8:30 last night. As for my routine, I think he likes it. He has been up each day before I woke at 4 and he likes eating that time of the day. He also likes eating about every few hours so if I'm going to keep this up (and I think I will), more snacks are in order.) 
   Amazingly enough, except for yesterday I didnt nap. J did most of the week, but missed his nap yesterday. He did lie down in his room and rest though, and I was thankful for that and slept an hour or so. Really wasn't feeling good.
  As far as the days went, I think Tuesday was the hardest. I woke up crabby because of so little sleep, stumbled into the kitchen, griping the whole way, and made breakfast. Breakfast with my two favorite men in the world made it so wonderful for me. I enjoyed spending time with my husband, talking and eating together before he went off to work, instead of me sleeping during that time and barely remembering the kiss goodbye as he rushed out the door. The rest of the day however, when I wasn't cooking or washing dishes I was in a slack jawed stupor in front of the computer. 
  Wednesday I was a bit more alive. I started a load of laundry, kept up with the dishes, temporarily fixed the bean bag chair, and worked on this week's decluttering project. I wont post about that until tomorrow, however. There is one more thing I'm going to try to do first.
  Yesterday I cooked. That's it. Nothing more. I was feeling so lousy I didnt even do the dishes until last night when I started feeling better.
  So, it's been four days. So far I like it. I feel like I can get more accomplished --J has already been fed his breakfast, the dishes are soaking for a moment, and I'm about to turn the laundry over to the dryer. Not bad for 6:27 in the morning. I remember to take my iron and vitamin most of the time. The Hubby took it upon himself to make the bed each morning. That is a very sweet thing. I hadn't asked him to do it, hadn't mentioned that it needed to be done on my list of daily tasks, I just walked into the bedroom after he left for work and noticed that it was done, complete with my teddy bear and book sitting there waiting on me.
  The only thing lacking this week? My bible study. I didn't sit and read, much less blog about what I read. I did however read and repin various scriptures on Pinterest. So I guess you could say this week I've snacked on the Word rather than feasting upon it. I'm not that happy with that particular part of the week but I think I can get back into the groove in the next few days.
 I think I like the new routine so far though. It needs a little tweaking here and there, but I'm liking it. I get more done during the day. I sleep well at night.  J seems to be doing well on it. The Hubby is happy. That makes me happy.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Women's Health: Annual Pap's

Okay, this is a sensitive subject but I'd feel better if no men were in the room. Most guys aren't going to read my blog anyway but...... unless you're a woman you really aren't going to understand what a woman goes through. However, if you and your wife are comfortable with this conversation together, so be it. But you've been warned.

On Pinterest, of all places, I found this article on Care 2 Make a Difference. It says in part that annual pap smears are no longer advised. Please read the article for yourself.  Honestly? Part of me is thrilled, having just gone through that thing earlier this year.  And yet... my mind is screaming. My brain is firing questions faster than I can type (and my husband will faint if he reads that sentence). Who decided this? Why? Is this really a good thing for women or is it just good for the insurance companies and the nonmedical people who come up with such great ideas as women don't need mammograms until they're 50 (because obviously that's the magic age that cancer appears in women's breasts. If you're younger and have cancer, it must not be real)? 
   It disturbs me that the article states that  "in 2009 only 4000 women died of cervical cancer...". Wait, what?? ONLY 4,000 women.  And the author's advice for handling this new set of guidelines for women's health? Enjoy the break from the "scary metal duckbill." Heal yourself. Visualize  good health and no cancer in your body.  Mmmkay.
  Ladies, wake up! I think it's fine to visualize yourself healthy, as long as you eat healthy most of the time if not all the time, get exercise, plenty of rest, and otherwise care for yourself in all matters including spiritual. But I also believe we have modern medicine for a reason (excuse me while I switch soap boxes here for a second) and it shouldn't be be used as birth control, making guys like "Hef" happy, or trying so hard to eliminate all sources of illness to the point that it backfires!
  First off, I think the definition of women's health care has gotten totally messed up, and it hasn't happened over night. Somehow we think that women's healthcare means abortions on demand for whatever reason that is not medically needed. Beaurocrats have decided that it doesn't include keeping a woman healthy. And we let them???  
  I hate having to have that exam done. It's not pleasant, to say the least. I'm also not looking forward to my first mammogram, which my doctor says I need and the beaurocrats insist I don't need for another ten years. Sorry, but I'd rather listen to the one who has a medical degree and cares about my health. I do these things because I want to stay healthy. I'm not wishing for cancer but if I am to get it, I want it caught before the doctor can only say, "Get your life in order. I'm so sorry. There's nothing we can do at this point."
 Very few abortions are done for a life threatening medical condition. Very few. Most are done because the mother is "not ready" for motherhood. As for rapes, I feel for them, I really do. I've been a rape survivor myself. But why are we punishing the child for something he or she didn't do? Her only crime was to be conceived in a horrifying, brutal act. The perpetrator often gets off scot free while the infant pays the price. Go after the rapist. Put the child up for adoption, and get therapy to handle this. That isn't health care. 
  I'm sorry. I realize I switched gears a little there instead of staying on topic. I won't delete it though because it is tied to the topic at hand: women's health.  All procedures, even elective, come with certain risks. I'm not a doctor, not a nurse. I am a woman. I want to be healthy as possible so that I can take care of my family.  There are things I disagree with in terms of modern medicine, but I do know that mammograms and pap smears have saved lives. Ladies this is the type of healthcare we need to be concerned with. The type of stuff that affects our lives. 

Gratituesday: Grateful for... Washing Dishes??

 Yes, it's true. I am grateful for washing dishes. That one step, making sure the dishes were washed each day, led to wanting to sweep the kitchen floor every day. And that led to trying to keep up with the laundry, and making the bed each day, and picking up now and then after my family and myself. I like the sight of a clean, empty sink.
  Is the entire house spotless now? Not by a long shot. I still have a ways to go. But day by day, little by little, it's getting there. I struggle with housework. I have for a long time. I do great for awhile, something happens and I slide back into chaos. This time however, I don't want to give up after a set back. I want to say Okay, so I forgot last night and left dishes in the sink. It's not the end of the world. I can get them done now and move on. 
  But it's the start of doing dishes every day that led me to the point where I can care for my family one step further and be awake early enough to make breakfast for my husband before he leaves for work. It's something I've missed out on for a number of years because I couldn't make myself wake when he did.
  I'm not ready for patting myself on the back just yet for being able to fix him breakfast this one day. It's going to take awhile for this new step in my routine to settle. I've gotta admit though, I like it. I wonder what the next step in this journey will be? 
   Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Day One of This New Routine

 5:17 AM
  If I had started this post at 4 am or before then (I was awake), this post would be a rant on how I Quit. Or at least wanted to.  Yes, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today. I tend to wake naturally, as in without an alarm. But when I need the alarm, knowing I have to be up at a certain hour, my brain goes into overdrive. I dream weird and I wake at least once every hour or so because I hate oversleeping and missing the wake time. I'm weird, I know.  I suppose if I had a job that required me to be there every morning at say 5 am, I'd get used to the routine and I'd actually start getting good rest again. As I deal with this, if I stick with it, I'll eventually get used to it.
  This morning, however, it all started out wrong. J had been up for awhile, as evidenced by the wet foot prints leading from the bathroom, through the kitchen, to his room. The computer wanted to act all wonky. It's working fine now, because I restarted it. And the frustrating thing that got me all wound up? Dishes were left in the sink. All. Night. Long.  
  I couldn't believe after working hard all last week to keep up with that one goal, not daring to go to sleep until the dishes were washed, that this would happen! HOW could I go to bed with dishes in the sink? My husband also got growled at for this. He was up later than I, and saw me toddle off to bed without doing the dishes. He also didn't think to do them for me. The nerve, right?  But he was tired also, and didn't think about it. 
  On the good side of things,  once my early morning growl subsided, I got to spend time with The Hubby. We got to spend some time together talking, even if most of it was me venting. I got to fix him breakfast, which, admittedly, I don't do all the time, even on days that he has off or is working a different shift. I kinda like being Suzy Homemaker and making sure he eats before rushing off to work. 
  Other than the few dishes that The Hubby and J used, my sink is empty once again.  After eating, J busied himself with taking apart a puzzle we had started to work on yesterday. He is now contemplating going back to sleep. I really do not understand his sleep patterns lately.
  As for me, I'm not sure whether I want to go back to bed or not if I start hearing his gentle snoring. Half of me wants to because I was so restless last night. The other half, the perfectionist half I am suspecting, says Push through it! You can always nap after The Hubby gets home! For now I think I'll play it by ear. Yup, J is determined to sleep. I hear him in his room still, but he just shut his door. A sure sign he's ready for sleep.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Time For a New Routine?.

J and I are at an impasse. I recently found a decorative plate I made a million years ago, back in the 1990's. J hates it apparently and I am sentimentally attached to it. After all, I spent time creating this thing. No one will ever mistake it for a fine piece of art. After all, it's a clear glass plate with pictures of cats mod podged onto the back and covered with gold sheets (the fake stuff, not the real). It reminds me to stay creative. I enjoy having time to work on projects. 
  J threw it behind the water heater in his room. He thought I wouldn't notice because I was sitting here at the table reading (or trying to read) today's lesson. John 16. I made him go retrieve it. He played dumb, which is one of his typical teenager moments. If you have kids you know what I'm talking about: the blank look. Yeah right, I'm your mother. Go get the plate. He wasn't thrilled because it meant he had to kneel down and reach behind the water heater to get it. I then told him to put it back where he found it. 
  Mom's a little dense sometimes because it took a few minutes to figure out that J has been up for awhile. After all, he was in the tub when I woke up. The boy is hungry! So the bible gets set aside once more and I fix breakfast. Okay. He's fed, medicated and happy, if slightly bored already at 8:30 AM. (How do you get bored that early in the morning???) 
 I can go back to reading, right? Wrong. Now my mommy brain is kicking in. J needs something to do. I still need to do....and the list starts whirling. Long story short (if there is any hope of that after all of this), when I'm here by myself I can't ignore J or the house. My bible reading and blogging about it is a priority, even though it seems even to me that my attention to it has been flagging recently.
  It has been suggested that we rise an hour earlier than our families in order to get a jump on the day. J wakes anywhere from 3:30 to 5 am on his wilder days, rarely sleeping till 7. During first shift, The Hubby wakes at 4 in order to do what he needs to do to get to work on time. My first thought? SO not happening. 
  But then I got to thinking as I was scrambling eggs: my family needs me. I don't have to get up immediately as I hear J waken, but what if I go ahead and wake at 4 or 4:30? It's not a new concept. Women have done this probably since the days of Eve. If J is awake I can feed him and get him going on a project to occupy him till he's ready to go back to bed (which he invariably does). During first shift days that would give me a little time with my husband before he runs off to work. If he's on third shift, I can have breakfast ready for him instead of him stopping at mcGreasy's for something I really don't care for.  Once those two are taken care of I can get my bible reading done then, or start on some housework until my brain is ready to settle in and really pay attention to what I'm reading. Or maybe I have to wait until J's afternoon nap time or at least when he's quiet to study. So I may not get to sit and read until afternoon or so.  If that is the case then I can simply set the blog piece to post the next morning. I will still be reading each day and I will keep up with that part of the blog, hopefully better than I am now. 

Proverbs 31:10-31 is the description of the virtuous woman. Yes, this woman had servants to help her, but she got quite a bit done. We all have things that keep us from doing everything, but the point is taking care of our families the best we can. If it takes waking at a time when the sun is still sleeping to take care of my family at this point, I should do it. I can always nap in the afternoon when J does, if need be. We shall see how this goes!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Teaching My Son


Yup, that's my sweet J there. I hesitate to even show his picture because the iinternet can be a scary place sometimes. But he's my inspiration.
  I've talked about housecleaning a lot these past few days. I can't help it, its something I'm finally grasping after all these years. It's not that my life's goal was to be a slob, or more delicately put, a disorganized housewife. Inside is truly a neat, organized person. The Hubby calls me an OCD Messy. I'm truly wanting things neat and orderly but I am a messy person. Go figure. But I'm working on it, little by little.
  Today I happened to catch J in the act of throwing something out the window. My new must do yesterday was to spend time each day in J's room either cleaning or helping him clean. Today I grabbed a trash bag and insisted he pick up trash. He lasted maybe 2 minutes, if that, but he did it. That's where we stopped for the day. I gave him lots of praise for the effort he made and told him we would do the same thing tomorrow. If I want him to "get" that a clean house is a happy house, I have to teach him how to keep it clean. I already remind him to put dirty clothes in the basket, dishes in the sink, and garbage in the trash can. I've known most of his life that he needs routines in order to be comfortable in his life. He needs to know what to expect. But it's not just kids or adults with autism who need routines. I think we all do, especially kids. 
  If I want my son to keep his room clean, I have to teach him how by getting him to do some of the tasks needed. As he can do each of them more independently then it's time to teach him a new skill. If I don't teach him, who will?
Train up a child in the way that he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
         Proverbs 22:6 

Menu Plan

Okay, so most bloggers I read have a menu plan. And the ones who do say it really helps to have an idea of what you're going to eat during the week because it keeps you from defaulting from stopping at the nearest fast food restaurant to pick up something. So this is supposed to be better for your pocket book as well as your waist line. I've been trying on my own off and on, and so far menu plans in my house haven't stuck. It's usually just a matter of, what do we want tonight, hurry J is starving. Or I'm starving. Oh forget it just go get dollar burgers. Not good. So I thought I'd do the menus here on the blog. Nutritionally I'm sure someone will pull a Faye Raye, ie, faint in horror, but this is what the family wants for the week.

Sunday: Breakfast, eggs, sausage n grits
             Lunch : Corned Beef n Sauerkraut
            Supper : Reuben Sandwiches

Monday Breakfast : Spinach eggs (eggs scrambled with frozen spinach, maybe some bell pepper thrown in, and cheese) and toast
           Lunch: Sandwiches n chips
           Supper: BBQ pork wontons

Tuesday Breakfast: BLT's
             Lunch : Hillbilly Housewife's Taco Style Lentils n Rice  with homemade tortillas
            Supper: Sausage n Sauerkraut

Wednesday Breakfast: smoothies, which may turn into smoothie for me, eggs for J depending on his mood.
                  Lunch: salad
                  Supper: Pot Roast, with carrots and potatoes

Thursday: Cottage Cheese n fruit
                leftovers
                (and this is exactly what I have written down : CHICKEN OF SOME SORT.  Uh huh, very decisive there. I have chicken breasts, just don't know what I'm going to do with them just yet. Any ideas?

Friday Spinach eggs n toast
          quesadillas
          OUT!!

Saturday: Dutch Baby n Strawberries
               lunch --still up in the air
               A Slob Comes Clean's Spinach Artichoke Pizza 
  Don't worry, fruit and or veggies accompany each meal. Granted, it's very pork heavy this week (at least I think so) but our diet usually evens out. 
   By the way, does anyone have great tried and true recipes for bass? We were given some last week and enjoyed it yesterday, but I think the flavor could have been perked up a bit.

A Morning Cup of Tea: Psalm Sunday

Psalm 119: 1-8

1. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
2.Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
3. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
4. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts dligently.
5. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
7. I will praise thee with uprighteousness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgements.
8. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife: End of the Week Recap, and New Focus

 Yup, this is my view of my kitchen table most days. Chubs fights me for a chance to lie on the keyboard, my cell phone is nearby, the pink thing in the background is my camera case. On the day this was taken, The Hubby had just come back from a grocery run for me. Most days my kitchen table is my desk. It keeps J in my sight and I have no excuse to know get work done in here. It seems to work, for now. Slowly I'm getting my kitchen to the point that I like it.
  •  My pantry is accessible, not a jumbled mess.
  • I can pull out my flatware, kitchen towel, and measuring cup/accessory drawers and immediately find what I need in mere seconds, if that long.
  • The bottom cabinets now hold my mixing bowls, waffle maker, and other baking essentials, plus some out of the way stuff in the back.
  • My baking center counter... has been cleared off but is finding the clutter creep once again. 
  • The fridge and freezer are clean, and while not as well organized as I'd like, we are able to see what we have and what is needed. 
  • There are 4 bags in the corner waiting to find new homes at the thrift store. 
  • The dishes are done each day, minus the three glasses that managed to escape my notice last night as I went to bed, and the floor is swept daily.
Not bad progress for a week. I've been picking up hit or miss in other rooms, and my bed is made daily. I truly enjoy that sight each day. I feel like I can come up with a plan for the day and give myself time to write (non blog related) or make cards or art journal without feeling the guilt of the house overwhelm me.  My house is far from being guest worthy yet, but it's getting there.
One thing I've been doing this week is reading the blogs of women who know how to organize and keep house seemingly without blinking. I am amazed at the information they are willing to share, and I want to put some of it into practice. One other blog I've been reading, as you know if you've read this blog any during the last week, is A Slob Comes Clean. Nony has been where I am today. She understands the struggle. Because I am a slob. I'm reading her blog from the time she began writing, forward so I can see.
   One thing she did was start with the dishes. It grew from there. Each week she added what she called a non negotiable to her list of what she did each day. A non negotiable is something that gets done every day, regardless of what else gets done or not. My list of must do's at this point is very short: Make the bed,  do the dishes, sweep the kitchen floor. I've decided that Saturdays are when I will add a new "must do" to my list. This week, I'm adding my son's room to the list. Specifically, each day I will check his room for clutter. Then he and I will remove the clutter and straighten it together. 
  Eventually I want that must do to go to his own daily task list, with little or no prompting from me. Why did I add that room as mine? Because tacitly over the years I've taught him it's okay to let his room spiral into chaos. I've turned a blind eye to it until when I finally do notice, it discourages me. His room is right off of the kitchen so there are no excuses anymore. The state of J's room affects the way I feel about the house and it affects my mood.
  I bought a set of dishes yesterday, that were on clearance. They have pink and blue flowers on them and they make me smile. I told a friend that I bought them because they are pretty. I want pretty things in my house to bring joy. That in turn makes me want to keep the house clean and usable. It's a good incentive for me. 
 Have a great day

Proverbs Saturday

Good morning! Thought I'd try something new today.

Today's reading comes from Proverbs 3:1-7

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:
2.For length of days, and long life, and peace,shall they add to thee.
3. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4. So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
   
Have a great day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife - It's Living In the Fridge!

With apologies to Weird Al, I had to borrow that title. It was the main job I wanted to get done this week, yet I put it off until yesterday. Yup, good ol' procrastination. 
  In my family are two and a half adults. J has autism and he'd rather eat what's in the fridge rather than clean it out. The Hubby and I... have plenty of excuses but no real reason why this particular chore hasn't been done in awhile. 
So... the before pictures of the fridge and freezer:


  Sorry, I took the picture sideways and i still don't know how to turn things around on a blog. But yup, there is my freezer and fridge in all it's horrible, disorganized mess. After I took the pictures and redid the freezer, a friend called and said "Hey, we've been fishing and are just down the road. Want some fish?" Sure! Why not, right? So after he drops off the fish I have them in a bowl of water waiting for a spot in the fridge. It's in the 80's so I'm playing beat the clock to get the fridge cleaned up so that the fish can stay cool and comfy till The Hubby comes home to clean them. Sorry, I'm a country girl but I don't touch fish. That's his department.  What's not pictured here? The icky, dried on, sticky mess at the bottom of the fridge. Trust me, that was not for the faint of heart. It took 20 minutes of scrubbing with baking soda water to clean it.  So not happy with that. The Fridge now gets to be cleaned out once a week whether it needs it or not. Friday is usually our grocery shopping day so Thursday is cleaning day.
 The cleaned out fridge":
 The fridge I'll admit needed to be organized a bit better, but at least the junk had been thrown out, everything was clean, and yes, there are the fish in my Thatsa Bowl.  The cup beside it is apple cider vinegar. It worked. My fridge does not smell like fish.

So what did I do the rest of the week? The Pantry, which is basically three upper cabinets, counter space, and three drawers above three lower cabinets.
Before:
 Scary huh? The angle only lets me show two of the upper cabinets but you get the picture. Sorry for the pun.

After:
 Apparently I forgot to take a picture of the bottom cabinets but they were done as well, and for us, this is fairly well organized. I didn't mean to get it in the shot, but yes that bottle is there. It's an older house. Not proud of it, but it happens sometimes. The ice cream bucket holds flour and the medicine bottle was a cleaned one that is temporary housing for flax seed.
  Well, there ya go. I missed a few pictures, but this is peek at what I did this week for week two of Simplemom.net's Project Simplify 2012. It's not a lot of progress but I'll take it. One step at a time.

Foodie Friday: Dutch Baby Pancake

Are you a Pinterest  fan? I am. Constantly on there finding recipes, how to's, and of course, lots of sayings. And you know that I like Martha. You know who I'm talking about. Whether you like her or not, the woman has some great ideas there. On Pinterest a month or so ago I saw a picture of this recipe.  I tried it and it was a super hit with my guys and me. The Dutch Baby Pancake  is definitely a keeper. Follow the link to get the recipe. It's Martha's and not mine. I didn't tweak it any so I don't feel right copying the recipe to my blog. 
  This is what it looked like when we made it yesterday:
 Doesn't that look totally delish? The browner spot is from melted butter that got a little browner than normally I would let it get, and yes there is a little much sugar on top of that puppy. It takes maybe all of five minutes to put together in the blender, less than that if you have all the ingredients there at your finger tips, and 20 minutes to bake. Add fresh fruit and maybe some sausage or bacon as a side and you have a great special occasion or anytime breakfast. What was our special occasion? None, we just felt like treating ourselves today. <Smile>
  I hope you give it a try.You won't be sorry.

A Morning Cup of Tea: Words of Encouragement, Caution

 Good morning! Today I decided to move on to chapter 15 of John. Jesus' time here with his disciples is short and he is giving them much direction, encouragement, and advice, with a little caution. He continues speaking much of the next few chapters. I do encourage you to read the chapter. 
    When your children are young and you leave them for the first time in the care of a sitter, you tend to give the sitter lots of advice: Johnny needs a bottle in half an hour and his bedtime routine is this...  When the kids are older and you leave them home alone for the first time, whether it be you going to the grocery store by yourself (wow! what a concept, going somewhere alone!) for an hour or you will be gone overnight and the teenagers will fend for themselves for a bit, you give lots of instruction. Some you repeat. Jesus is doing this. He has to go away so that he won't be there in the flesh anymore with his disciples, but he isn't truly leaving them alone. The Holy Spirit is coming to be there for them. He reminds them that if they love him, they (and we as this is for us as well) will keep his commandments. He urges us to love one another, and to teach the world. And he also cautions that the world will hate us for we are not of them. But we should remember that the world hated him first. It is not easy to be a follower of Christ, but the reward at the end is so great. Also, we are not alone. We have Christ within us. We have the Comforter. We have one another to lean on, encourage, care for. 
  I didn't do anywhere near justice to this chapter. I encourage you to read it for yourself. Have a great day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Time of Trial and a Time of Victory

  I've been really committed this week to getting my house (as well as my life) in order. Last week I did some, but not with the determination of this one. I can already see a difference. The bed is made every morning so far; something I hadn't regularly done in some time. I still have clutter in my room, but the sight of a made bed makes me smile. It makes me want to continue the cleaning, and it feels sooo nice to just pull the covers back and slide in at night rather than fumbling for the sheet and fixing the covers to my liking. My dishes are done each day and I refuse to go to bed until the dishes are done and the floor is swept. It doesn't take that long these days because they are kept up each day.
  Faithfully this week I've been working on the kitchen as per Simple Mom. I'll show you the result in tomorrow's post. It's baby steps for me, but I'm so happy with it. Today I need to clean out my fridge. Ugh! So not looking forward to it, but it shouldn't be too.. bad.. I... hope.... Anyway, that is the task for today. 
  This morning has been a mix of trial and victory though. The trial?  J had been up since 5 AM. He was in a really good mood most of that time. When I woke again at 8 he was happily playing and first thing, without prompting from me, *signed* "Eat". That was a victory in itself. He then pointed to what he wanted. Knowing I had other things to do and wanting to reward his communication, I gave him what he wanted and told him breakfast would be a little later. Well, breakfast was coming a little later than expected and he had a meltdown. So not good. When he's in a good mood, everything runs smoothly. The meltdowns are rare these days, but when they happen, it's volatile. He rips things. One of our spring /summer projects will be replacing walls in his room. That's the trial.
  The victory? Breakfast! I didn't have to wash a mountain of dishes to get breakfast started. Because of the project I've been doing I could find what I needed quickly -and put it away-quickly. I didn't have to search high and low for ingredients or dig through the utensil drawer to find my measuring cups. Even when The Hubby was making tea and couldn't find the tea bags, I told him exactly where they were located. Voila! You know how wonderful that feels to a disorganized housewife not to spend half the day searching? It's wonderful! I'm so going to continue this.
  Also, and this is the kicker for me, SOMEBODY (okay, it was me) didn't have the bottom attached correctly on the blender so when I poured the milk for the Dutch Baby (recipe coming tomorrow), eggs and milk spread everywhere on my table and onto the floor. Ewww! But because I had already been trying to keep my table reasonably clear (it wont be completely clear until I can get my laptop back in the living room) only one stray paper took a hit and the mess was easily cleaned up. I'm enjoying having less stress, in the kitchen if nowhere else. It's a start. I'm getting the lesson here. I'm taking it a step at a time. I'm loving the fact that my husband, always supportive, helps me keep the kitchen at least at the level it is now. He encourages me daily. I feel better about myself, not simply because he encourages me, but I see I can do this. It wont be all done in one night because a) I simply don't have that kind of energy to attack a whole house although I admire women who can, and b) it didn't get disorganized in a day. My results may thrill only my husband and me. But that's okay. I like the progress. I like that J is being taught daily to put things in its proper place instead of being thrown in a corner. He will soon be able to do this without much prompting and that will be a major victory.

A Morning Cup of Tea: Words of Faith

Good morning! I'm running a little late today but I'm here. I'm so sorry I did not write anything yesterday, but J had severe insomnia the night before and that kept me up a good bit of the night.
   Today we are in chapter 14 of John. The time is drawing near and Jesus is talking with eleven of his disciples, Judas Iscariot having gone to meet with the ones who sought to be rid of Jesus permanently. Jesus had already been telling them that he was going to leave them. This chapter he was giving them words of comfort, and reminding them what he had said before, Continue on with the works of the Father. 
  The first words he said in this chapter, Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 
  2. In my Father's house are  many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 
 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. These are so comforting to me. 
   Jesus has given them a lot of information, and the disciples had seen him do many works in God's name, and they believed that Jesus was the Christ, but like the rest of us, they were a little unsure of what was going on. It's easy for us to understand and believe because we've seen the end of the book. We know how the story ends: He is the Christ, and if we keep his commandments he's going to come back for us! Good triumphs over evil! But though they have been teaching and doing, they've mostly been following Jesus, and now he's saying that he's going away and they need to take over. 
  So I think it's natural that Thomas ask How can we know the way, and Philip asks Jesus to show them the Father.  Jesus' answer:  I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.
 If ye had known me, ye shoud have known my Father also. and from henceforth ye know him and see him.  (v6,7)  He further stated, when Philip asked to see the Father, that they had seen his works, which were not of Jesus but of God.
  Later in the chapter Jesus promises to send the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit. He would bring to remembrance all that Jesus had taught them. This tells us that we need to study so that the Comforter can bring to remembrance what had been taught. 
  Oh, there is so much in this chapter that Jesus is telling them. He wants them to pay attention because time is short and he wont have much opportunity to talk at length with them again. I'm being rushed here, so instead of going on to chapter 15 immediately I think we will talk more about this chapter. What are your thoughts on this chapter? I'd love to hear from you.
 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some Lessons are just too Hard to Learn...


And Those are The Most Important

I'm in the midst of cleaning up my act (and the house). If you have read any of the last few posts you know this. One step at a time. I'm keeping the dishes clean, I'm sweeping my kitchen, doing the laundry (and taking some steps toward putting it all away and donating what doesn't belong. I'm following Simple Mom's challenge  of decluttering one hotspot at a time for four weeks.
  But I have a son with autism. This is one of those times I really want to give up. In order to begin on my pantry I had to take off the blinders to see a moat of trash and junk that had to be dealt with before i could even begin. I knew it was there, I just chose to ignore it while I dealt with other things. The moat is gone now.  Then I needed to hang a load of laundry. The Hubby was in the bedroom making the bed, which is another task I want to complete each day. In just five minutes, the previously sleeping J woke up and noticed that the fridge was unlocked and unguarded. He took advantage of this to rid us of the sour cream. He thought it was a lovely snack. 
  Instead of realizing that it was OUR fault, both adults threw a tantrum. Short lived, but it happened. Two lessons here: 1) The fridge has to stay locked when no one is available to keep an eye on it. J only knows that he is hungry and will grab what's available. He doesn't understand a lot of times what is good for him or when to stop, and our pocketbooks are not that deep. Even if we were really well off, we can't allow him to eat anything anytime he wishes. It would make him sick.
 2)Getting angry at a child who is independent and just trying to find a snack isn't very productive. We have to vent a little sometimes, but we need to take responsibility and handle this situation ourselves. 
  Can J be taught to stay out of the fridge and ask for what he needs? Maybe. It takes time, patience, and a lot of energy. He's not dumb by any means. He can learn many things. But being human, and having a child's mind most of the time, he's going to make mistakes. We just need to figure out how best to help him.
  Am I going to give up? Absolutely not. I've worked hard the last several days on this house. I'm not discounting the countless hours I've spent before trying to figure all this out, but this time I think I understand. I wont say that house cleaning gives me great joy, but taking care of my family does. Seeing 'the abyss' turn into a home. I am disorganized, but I am changing. Not because someone else insists I have to, but because I want to. I need to. For me.
  I want a home that I can feel good about inviting others over in. I want to be able to write, or make cards, or otherwise craft, or spend time with my family without feeling guilty that I'm not up folding laundry, or sweeping, or doing dishes.  I know a lot of people don't understand why I cant get the concept of cleaning done, that it's something you "just do." That was the answer I got when I asked someone how you get things done. To me that's as foreign as handing an algebra book to a kindergartener and saying "figure it out." I'm not stupid, I'm not lazy (most of the time), I'm just overwhelmed. I hesitate to say that I'm proud of my accomplishments lately, because I see I have a long way to go, but I'm happy with the progress I'm making. My husband seems to be as well. As long as we both keep this up, especially me, I'll have a home that wont make me cringe every time someone comes by. I can invite others over for dinner or whatever. I like that.  

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus Reveals the Betrayer

Good morning! Have you adjusted to daylight savings time yet, if you live in a state that still relies on this? I confess, I have not. I usually wake up sometime in the middle of the night.. you know.. for the sake of walking through the house and toddle on back to bed.. and this morning I woke to darkness once again. J was up and happily announcing it was time to be awake and eat. I told him to go back to bed because it wasn't time to be up yet. He didn't believe me. He was right. I looked at my phone (no clocks in the house. Gotta remedy that) and it was 7AM. Oops. Time to be up.
  So long story short, I fixed his breakfast, fed the cats, got dressed, and got side tracked. All in the space of about an hour and a half. So far so good, right? he he.
  Today we are finishing up chapter 13 of John, beginning with verse 18.  Jesus had been speaking to his disciples and had announced that one would betray him.  One of the disciples, described as whom Jesus loved, was leaning on Jesus at this time. Peter motioned to him (probably John) to ask Jesus who the betrayer was. Jesus answered that the person to whom he gave a piece of bread dipped in the sop was the one who would do it. He of course, gave it to Judas and told him, That thou doest, do quickly. Judas left to do what he was to do but the other disciples didn't quite understand yet. John says in verses 28 and 29 that they thought since Judas was the holder of the money, Jesus was sending him out to get what they needed for the Passover feast.
  Jesus spoke to the eleven remaining disciples and told them that soon he would go where they could not follow just yet, but they would, in time. He urged them to love one another (this is a lesson for us as well) just as he loved them.
 35.By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
 Peter asked, Why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake.
 It was then that Jesus questioned him on this, and told him that the rooster would not crow before Peter had denied Jesus three times.
  John has given us such insight to the last days of Jesus before the crucifixion. He obviously loved Jesus like a brother. If you have not read the book of John, I encourage you to do so. We still have some chapters to go. Until next time, have a great day.   

Queen of Denial


Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife

 There was a song several years back by the title of Queen of Denial. Cute song. Not so cute when you have to face up to what you are in real life. But yup, that's me. It's not like I'm blind to the state of my house. I can clearly see it. But as a coping mechanism, I have learned not to notice the messiness. When I do see it, I list all the reasons why it is this way:
  --I just can't keep up with J.
 -- I don't feel well.
 -- no one in this family helps me
But the one that rarely comes to light is, I'm overwhelmed.  Yes, I have my lazy moments. Probably more than I care to admit. The truth is, I don't feel well a lot of days. I'm tired because of the anemia. And the depression. Yep, that little monster still rears its ugly head sometimes. I fight it, I ignore it, but it's there.  And yes, my two favorite guys in the world are slobs like me. And J does wear me out. While I'm cleaning one room he's in another room messing up. 
  But you know what? I'm working on it. One room at a time I'm working on it. I'm thankful this week that I got the answer I've been looking for in the form of Simplemom,net's Project Simplify 2012 that began last week, and www.aslobcomesclean.com .  I decided to take the up the challenge last week, and as I was reading other blogs on Sunday after posting my own, one jumped out at me: A slob comes clean. Nony tickled me with her style of writing and her vlog posts. She showed me that I can change, one step at a time. She made me cry all day today as I read her blog and realized that I'm not alone in this mess. 
  I didn't just cry and read all day, however. I did my dishes, I swept the floor, I did laundry (even managed to put some of it away), threw out trash, and I have three bags waiting to go to the thrift store. 
 My stove is clean. My dishes are done. As soon as J is asleep I plan on putting away more laundry. I look forward to cleaning and decluttering more tomorrow. That's a first in a long, long time.
  This week I'm still the queen of denial. This time however, it's not to tune out all the disorder in my life. It's to help me focus on one area at a time. If I don't put my blinders on I will see everything that needs to be fixed, changed, or decluttered and cleaned and I will become overwhelmed and stop. It's only been a few days but I like the changes I've made. I like the slow but steady progress. And I'm very thankful for it. 
PS: The Hubby came home from work last night, got his dinner, and washed his dishes and made the tea for today. He is my number one cheerleader, encouraging me every step of the way. God blessed me with a truly wonderful 
husband.
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