Hanging tough through the ordinary

Friday, October 13, 2017

The test of a man's religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting 
on. The worth of a man is revealed in his attitude to ordinary things when he is not in the footlights. --Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

I do think it's the ordinary, everyday, humdrum existence that can really show our character.

When the baby's diaper needs changing again. When the cat has thrown up on the carpet again. When you have to cook dinner again. When the dishes need to be done, the laundry folded, the bed made, the thank you letter written. The groceries bought and put away.

The temptation avoided.

These are the boring necessities of life. That need to be done every day, or life can quickly fall apart. The things that no one recognizes unless they're not done. No one notices a clean toilet, but everyone will notice a dirty one.

If we're honest, we all want to be part of, or be, the Big Deal. Get the attention. The spotlight. The thank you's for a fabulous achievement.

It's the daily grind that can flatten us. The daily saying no to laziness and temptations. This is where we need to stay faithful.


And just look at this . . . 

Can you believe the difference?! I can't get over how much I'm loving this.

I feel like we've moved to the country.

So the next step is some more topsoil, grading, and extending the lawn back a bit. We'll leave the further back area au naturelle. I want to add some color by way of (shade-loving) perennials. Maybe the gardeners out there can give me some ideas.

Arguing with myself

Friday, September 29, 2017

So I went into Home Goods a couple weeks ago and saw a little hourglass with pink glittery sand that just called to me. 

And then the argument started.

I always have these arguments with myself whenever I see anything pink and glittery and adorable.

"What -- are you 12 years old?"

"But it's so stinkin' cute!"

"What are you going to do with it?"

"Well, I could use it to time brushing my teeth." (I tried appealing to reason, as the idea of "fun" didn't seem to be getting me anywhere.)

"It's just one more thing to clutter up the counter. You don't need it."

"But it's 40% off." I was whining by now.

"Just because it's on sale doesn't mean you need it."

The practical adult got her way. We left the store with a few sensible purchases. But the fun-loving child in me didn't forget the hourglass. I reminded Ms. Killjoy of the time she sent back the pink tulle skirt, and even she regretted it. It had been fun to twirl around in. And just maybe there would have been an occasion to wear it. I could have toughened it up a bit with boots and my gray suede bomber jacket. Right?

So the next time I was in Home Goods, we got the hourglass. I tipped it over as I stood in the checkout line with my daughter. It was a long line. I soon realized much longer than the 2 minutes recommended for teeth brushing.

"I'm not brushing my teeth this long!" I told my daughter after about 10 minutes.

Later, I timed it, to see how long it actually took for the pink sand to run out.

16 1/2 minutes. This obviously isn't some kind of regulation timepiece.

Okay, I can work with this.

What can I do in 16 1/2 minutes? I was going to prove that this was a practical, needful purchase.

*** Work out with arm weights.

*** Check Facebook (it usually takes way longer, but I'm trying to cut down on SM. This will be so helpful!).

*** Do my makeup and hair.

*** Clean the bathroom (okay, it takes longer than this, but sometimes I just put the job off. I can clean for 16 1/2 minutes; something is better than nothing).

*** Clean out a drawer.

*** Write a letter.

Hey, I'm starting to think that this was a very sensible purchase. 


The practical adult in me doesn't give up, though. 

A similar argument broke out at DSW last week. Over this.

"Oh. My. Gosh. Look at this!! Isn't it adorable?!"

"Oh, for heaven's sake. What are you -- 12 years old?" (This seems to be her standard response.)

"But . . . 

"Where would you ever wear this?? What would people think?"

"Oh, come on. Really? You're going to worry about what other people think? At your age?" (I can play that game, too.)

I then went on to remind her of our regret over the tulle skirt. I remind her of that often. And how fun and sensible the hourglass purchase ended up being.

"But this fake, furry pink purse is really ridiculous. You really can't justify it at all."

"But we have a coupon."

"How many times do I have to remind you? A bargain isn't a bargain if you don't need it."

But I suspect that Ms. Killjoy is really a softie at heart. After wandering around the store a bit, we circled back and got the purse.

Every time I see it in my closet now I smile. It's worth it just for that.

And I actually think I'll use it. Maybe. 

Would you? (haha, don't answer that)

And what would you do for 16 1/2 minutes?

And do you ever argue with yourself?

Healthy eating . . . and not

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A couple friends and I have been meeting and trying to support each other in eating healthy and losing weight.

I made a paleo pizza and a friend made a salad for our last get together.

My friends are following this eating plan. Me, a somewhat modified version.

I've made a couple batches of bone broth, both beef and chicken. Full of healthy collagen and gelatin.

This is the paleo pizza crust I made. Just look up Fat Head pizza online. It's delicious, even if you're not paleo or gluten-free (which I'm not). The crust is mozzarella cheese, almond flour, an egg, and some herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme).

When I made it for my husband I put bacon and pineapple on it.

I made chai the other night for a group of friends. I made four gallons. It was a lot of friends, but not that many. I had lots to send home with them in canning jars.

The recipe calls for star anise, which I just think is the coolest-looking thing.

Chai calls for lots of sugar, but I made a separate sugar-free batch for those who wanted less or no sugar.

Caramel never has to think about carbs or sugars. The same thing goes in her bowl day after day. It is what it is . . . sigh. 

Sometimes I just forget about carbs and sugars. And go for it.

This chocolate-filled croissant was wonderful.

Don't tell my friends.
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs