Thursday, March 30, 2017

An Accountability Partner

On this Thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for my new accountability partner.

Last July,
I earned a free Fitbit Flex.
How excited I was to have the reminder to keep moving,
to have the accountability of a record of my successes and failures.

Then last week,
yes, the same day that I broke my mower handle,
fitbit died.

I contacted customer service.
They confirmed that fitbit was indeed dead while still under warranty.
I could get another Flex,
I could have a discount on an upgrade.

Hubby gave me an upgrade.
Fitbit Alta HR arrived on Saturday.
I am excited because it not only tracks my steps,
but it is a watch,
and it gives a better judge of calories burned.
It is good to have my accountability partner again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


Doesn't Spring give you a sense of renewal and new beginnings?

I was eager to finish the work inside the trailer so that I could get outdoors again.

Last week, I did get outdoors, gassed up the mower and ...
after a couple of spins around the house,
the mower handle sheered off!
How discouraging!
Usually I mow the first week of March and now I was going to be REALLY late.

So I ordered a new handle.
It arrived today and I stole some of hubby's lunch hour so he could install it.
It was good to smell the grass, clover, and green onions
and see the neatly trimmed yard.

Then, since I had the truck,
I hauled off dead branches,
trimmed unruly branches and disposed of them.

I also swept the porches and weeded the walkway a bit.

The next 2 days are supposed to be rain-outs,
so it is nice to have the outside work under control.
Time to hole up and work on the next of hubby's books.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Society's Transformation

A member of our church lent me a book on Sunday.
She said it was an enjoyable, quick read.
I really haven't read a "pleasure" book in a long while.

She lent me "Finding Betty Crocker: The Secret Life of America's First Lady of Food."
The book was a history of Betty Crocker,
a character created by the Gold Medal Baking Company to sell products.
Boy, did it ever work.

While the history of this famous woman was fascinating,
I was more drawn to how things have changed.
Betty began as an older woman who encouraged women in their work in the home.
She encouraged women in homemaking calling it 
a "noble and challenging career ... an art requiring many different skills."
She encouraged women to make the home "a place of peace, joy and contentment."

So while I thought I was reading a history book,
I was encouraged as well as disheartened.
Encouraged to keep working hard in my home,
to "contribute to the cleanliness, the order, the health, the well being of the household."
Disheartened in how American society has been transformed.
These ideals are deemed old-fashioned and sexist.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Forum: Things That Bring Joy

With Spring comes the joy of Spring cleaning.
Most of my "spring cleaning" was completed with all the fresh paint and other renovation items.

I do still need to work on windows :(
and some of the closets.

We have begun trying to look at things and hold on to things that we love and enjoy.

Hubby went through his closet the other day.
3 shirts gone, 2 ties ...
they fit wrong, they were shapeless, they didn't excite wifey.
Easy - Peasy!

I am going to try this in the coming weeks.
While there are some "necessary" items that don't bring joy,
I am sure that I can get rid of more than I have.

Do you try this when you "clean out?"
Has it worked for you?
Do you have a better plan?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dirt and Free Movement

Monday was the first day of Spring AND ...
Yesterday found me in the garden.
While the garden has been very discouraging for the past few years - 
too little time to keep it healthy,
too dry,
too hot,
too many bugs,
Digging in the dirt is so much fun - even as an adult.

I turned over half of the garden yesterday,
incorporated the winter's worth of compost into the earth,
and planted leftover seeds to see what might happen ...
peas, carrots, beats, lettuce, spinach, and kale ...

Now to wait and see.
I am so thankful for nature,
for the beautiful earth that God allows us to enjoy.

I am also thankful this week for a repaired drawer.

When we moved in to this trailer,
the utensil drawer in the kitchen did not slide freely.
Most of the time we only took it half way in and out.
I didn't realize what a stressor it was ...
hubby fixed it up.
The rails were not secure or straight.

Now the drawer moves freely and this is one happy girl.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What mean these stones?

 Joshua 4:20-24
And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones?  Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.  For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over:  That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

And the reminders continue ...
it is important not to remember only,
but to leave a rememberance,
to cause others to know the Lord.

God is so good.

During our first years of marriage,
I worked faithfully on a "bag of rememberance."
It is full of those little miracles that God blessed us with.
I must get back to the practice - at least in written form.

I am not worth the least of His favor.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Living Room

Cheery Yellow at move-in
Changed to green with bulkier furniture

Change of furniture. 

The holdup on this post and these pictures was the rug and the throw pillows.
We were uncertain as to what colors would brighten and balance the grey and the brown.

Obviously, now we have decided.

The walls are now grey.
We actually painted twice and used the Valspar "Love it or we will replace it" guarantee.
Our first shade was grey, but in the evening, with house lights on ... it was more like baby blue -
not quite what we were going for!
So we picked another shade and were pleased with the results.

Again we have the sheer curtains that allow us lots of light
while still giving us privacy in the close quarters of a trailer park.
The full length curtains help the room not look quite as stark with hubby's minimalist tendencies.

But grey and brown with white trim are a bit drab ...
so why not add some teal, some plum, and some yellow?

We replaced the pressed board shelves on the wall with real wood stained to match the other furniture.

Check out the flowers in the corner - 
A delivery from the pastor and his wife (leftovers from a funeral) - 
I may be permanently spoiled.

We added an herb garden on the wall -
it smells good, cleans the air, and will add to the meals when it grows a little more.

Hubby also built a frame to hold greeting cards and notes.  (look to the left of the herbs)
It is a simple wood frame (leftover 2x2 from the back deck railing) strung with wire.
I love the improvement over the strand of yarn that I used to use.

While it may not suit everyone,
we are enjoying our new space.
Hopefully the next time that I need a change,
it will just be rugs and throw pillow covers :)

Hubby's "office" didn't change much.
He did get a potted succulent :)
and we are still enjoying my Valentine's balloons.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Menu Book

We are definitely "creatures of habits."
We like to know what is coming.
We have our mornings planned,
our workouts planned,
our evenings planned,
at least to the extent that you can in daily life.

We know that Monday night hubby preps sermons,
Tuesday night is date night,
Wednesday night is church,
Thursday night is Sunday School preparation,
Friday is church activity or fellowship in the home.


For almost 2 years, I followed a one month food plan - over and over and over again.
It changed our life in a good way
(decreased allergies, increased energy, better sleep, less tummy troubles),
but there were quite a few recipes that were not so great.

I needed to make my own plan.

Sunday: Oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas
Monday:  Eggs, meat, and avocados
Tuesday:  Granola
Wednesday:  Smoothie
Thursday:  extra Bible and prayer time
Friday and Saturday: Healthy Baked treat (muffins or crisp)

Weekday Lunch:
PB and honey sandwich
Tuna Sandwich
Leftovers (x 2 - hopefully)
Sloppy Joe or Pizza or Shepherd's Pie

I have almost reached my 30 dinner meals.
We have been trialing for 2-3 months with many being vetoed,
but we are finally narrowing it down to all favorites ...
no more dreading dinner, ever ... only good ones that we BOTH like.
And in the end, there will be less repetition than we had with our original plan.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Forum: What is "home"?

While renovating the trailer,
hubby said to me, "I really need to get you a real house!"
He knows that I love to decorate, I love to make things homey.

But (I said to him), I am perfectly content with our home.
I do want to make it as nice as I can, but I love it.

Our many apartments were "home."
A trailer can be a "home.".

Home is where I can relax.
Home is were I can try to meet the needs of others through hospitality.
Home is a place where I am accepted and encouraged to be better.

To me,
A home is peaceful ...
A home is bright ...
A home has a pleasant smell ...
A home has pleasant sounds.

How would you describe "home"?
What makes "home" special?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Running Water

Running Water ...

On this thankful Thursday,
I am thankful for the convenience of running water in our lives.
I don't have to run to a river,
pump a hand pump in the yard ...

Why choose this today?

one tub faucet is dripping and while a replacement cartridge is on the way,
it is a reminder that we are a blessed people.

while repairing the kitchen,
we were without the kitchen sink for about 3 days.
Just those three days of running to another room for water
made me appreciate that we have running water in each room.
What a blessing to clean up in the same room that you make your mess in!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


"And thou shalt remember
that thou wast a bondman in Egypt:
and thou shalt observe and do these statutes."
Deuteronomy 16:12

I am reading through the book of Deuteronomy in my personal studies.
This phrase is repeated and repeated and repeated.
In their treatment of others, in their worship of God, in every aspect of life,
the Israelites were to remember.
Remember God's grace to them in bringing them out of bondage.

And the application to me ...

God was gracious to me as well.
He drew me as a child.
He saved me as a child.
He gave me many opportunities not afforded to everyone.

If I remember that,
I will be more longsuffering with others ...
I will be more appreciative of the things God has given ...
I will value His Word more each day ...
I will long to serve and love Him with all that I have.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

And Now the Kitchen ...

I had fully expected to show pictures of the living room first,
but it is having a few minor holdups ...
you get to see the kitchen first.

When we moved in,
we painted out the cabinets and refinished the blue laminate countertops.
BEFORE - upon purchase of trailer

 AFTER: Upon move-in 3 years ago.

Why not do it again?

No kits or packages this time.

I bought some cabinet paint.
Just one step.

The rustoleum countertops were pretty,
but after three years, they were wearing and chipping - not as pretty any more.

In research, we were finding that the coating is the key - not the paint.
And we found that we could make "faux" marble countertops
and seal them with something thicker and stronger!

So of course, we tried it.

We used white primer that we already had for the base.
Used the wall color and cabinet color for the veining.
Then about $100 of a epoxy resin coating that we got at Hobby Lobby.
Yes, that is a piece of change, but cheaper than a piece of laminate or entirely new countertops.

And now my kitchen is light and bright as well.
We probably could have finished the counters for $60 worth of epoxy resin,
but the counters were so warped that it took a little more for it to level and be presentable.
Another coat might make it more perfect, but ...


I am loving the new look and going through the cupboards again has been healthy for cleaning out.
While everything was in disarray, hubby also fixed my large silverware drawer and now it slides beautifully.
Lots of "WINS" this week!

What did I learn?
It sure is a lot easier to do the work before moving into the space!
3 days without a kitchen sink was not a lot of fun!