Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Have a GREEN, GREEN, GREEN Christmas

Green is my favorite color..but that's not what this is about..

Super swizz-eet, ecologically sound, made in the good ole U.S. of A toys!

Other sites I love for great natural(some USA, some European-made) toys:

Here's a cute idea: wrap your present in a reusable shopping tote- they are had for as cheap as 99 cents at the dollar store, and can be reused over and over- a gift that keeps on giving!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dream a little dream...

I love books. I always have. They have been sanctuary and sanctification, mourning and dawning, all things provoking and stilling, usually simultaneously. I will fall directly into one, and not be able to see my way out until it is finished.

In my dream house, there is a room.. a library, but not those cavernous ones that you see in manor houses in the movies.. it's tucked off the front door in a small octagonal shape, wornly polished shelves of dark wood gleaming, a cheery fire in the grate by which an overstuffed chair and ottoman reside; There , on all the walls, shelves only broken by windows, looking over a garden or footpath or perhaps fountain, it is no matter, all my scenery lies in words. Light from the fire bounces off the wood floor, absorbed into the braided rug not good enough for a front room anymore- a sort of velveteen rabbit of the lounging set. There is of course, a purring furry cat, curled on the ottoman, a drowsing blanket and a piping tea pot accompanied by cookies and small sandwhiches ( a girl has to eat, right?) all the books great me as friends with volumes of things to say, years of history, new vistas, stacked in piles on the floor beside the chair; the room smells of vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, and orange, scents of the time of year when the best story comes open once more and all is spices, and myrh, and mystery. I have loved this room for so long, it is a part of me. I think I should rather it than a golden mansion in Heaven, if we're allowed to order those things up.

Great Teacher Present Idea

Looking for a good teacher present idea? Here's a thought... in case you don't know, lots of teachers don't get paid for 6 weeks during the Christmas holidays (depending on how they fall) Sometimes, they get a first paycheck right after Thanksgiving and the next one comes around January 14th or so.

This means that the pennies in the family budget are hollering all during the holidays. This is what one class did for their teacher, which alleviates some of that stress. They gave her 12 Nights of Christmas...Dinners. Either baked a favorite casserole or freezable entree and froze it with directions or bought a gift card to a restaurant or fast food place or made taco meat (frozen) and added tortillas, chips, hot sauce- whatever... at any rate, it added up to twelve days of Christmas Dinners. They brought them up to the school on the last day before holidays and presented them to the teacher! ( I think there were enough kids that the parents could team up in sets of two for each night or gift card) Anyway, I thought this was a cute idea. Obviously, you'd have to ask about allergies... but still cute idea.
Obviously, if you're in a super PC place, you'll have to say 12- days- of- holiday- that- is- unmentionable dinners!
What do you think?

Hearts & Hands Together!

What can we do for our neighbors? for our friends? for those in need?

Yes, times are hard, and will get harder before this is over , I think. Don't get down! Let's put our thinking caps on and go to it! Let's find some one else who has greater needs than our own and help them!

Make something- think of using/repurposing things like shirts and jeans, old towels, fabric, etc. Here are some Handmade Holiday ideas from this great sewing/crafty blog ... The Domestic Diva's Disasters (cute name, no?) She's got, like, a month of ideas... Totally!!
(why is the link thing not working??? scratches head...will work on that)

Make lunch sacks for kids at school with no lunch boxes, shopping bags for greener shopping (old jeans are great for this- use the pocket for a, um, pocket..., blankets for children in need or older folks... aprons for a HeadStart or low income school art class... you keep thinking while I get to linking...

Pattern for bandana shorts/pants.. go here:

A thought occurred to me... what if we, here in America, in home ec classes, Sunday schools, and homes, sewed these cute skirts and some of these bandana shorts for children in Africa or Mexico or here... brand new clothes.... I think I need to be on the look out for a cheap- to- free sewing machine!

Maybe you don't sew... that's okay, really, I don't either.. yet. But I dream...

Let's think of what we could do.. free photos for a down-and-out family, extra couponing surplus donated to food pantry, fasting to feed another, knitting hats, etc. Get your kids involved in some sort of a project....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Naturally Good

Having a child who is allergic to artificial colors and flavors will change things... like candy, for instance!

Here's a great natural alternative ( I can vouch for it being good- we've ordered the gummy worms and lollipops)

Yummy without the icky.

and snacking...

try Annie's Homegrown brand anything (cereal, bunny grahams, cheesy bunnies, mac and cheeses) all natural. all YUMMY!!!!

They give away free click on the free loot part of the menu!!!!

More natural stuff in a bit!

Merry (Halloween) Christmas

Hello there! Well, between hosting evacuees, catching up on home school, and life in general.. well, here I am!

Today's smorgasbord is a motley collection of stuff... one emphasis is Christmas.. not too far away, really. This year, I'll be posting some ideas for your consideration... maybe to do things a little differently this year...maybe to hand make some gifts... maybe to give as a family

Here's a blog I love -Soulemama . Beautiful & creative. She made some of these skirts for her little daughter.. which led me through a series of thoughts... those are easy.. I could sew that (I mean, if I knew how to sew and had a machine) Wouldn't that be a cute Christmas gift? what about "days of the week "skirt sets (you know like those "days of the week" panties we all had when we were little) or this would be so cute in fleece or flannel for Christmas/ winter... she trimmed hers in ribbon (very cute) what about some big rickrack?...or felt flowers? Make a matching skirt for a favorite doll? Make a matching skirt for your daughter and her best friend?

Here's the free pattern :"Lazy Days skirt"
Have yourself some fun!

From recent personal experience, here's a sign of possible Salmonella in a child... diarrhea with bright red blood in it... Keep on eye on those poops, y'all. 'Tis the season for buffets, samples, etc.!

Yeah! The weather says it is totally about to get COLD!!! I need a new coat.. I mean, it is a need... the last one I bought was when my 6 year old was born ....and it is decimated from park/baby/general outdoor use....seen any cute ones anywhere,y'all?

We'll be breaking out the cold weather snacks here soon... hot spiced cider (wassail) , caramel corn, donuts (homemade), etc. I'll be posting recipes... come and get 'em..

If you love giveaways like I do.. get over to The Nesting Place and sign yourself up!
I am out of time...
Hugs, y'all!!!!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

This is too much!

I currently have some evacuees (read family) Not refugees as some reporters have referred to them. Due to this and the nature of my raising in Hurricane country, I feel that I have some ability to weigh in on the reporting going on at major news stations...

Stupid things reporters/weathermen have said during Hurricane Ike:

1. "A strengthening storm is stronger than a weakening storm." (Fox news) really? whoa. years. years of meteorology..

2. Geraldo Rivera on Galveston Island " I don't know how bad it is.. I don't know what too much is.." Turns, sees the ocean HE IS STANDING IN and yells "This is TOO MUCH!" as the 119 mile an hour winds bear down on him. What do you think HUNKER DOWN means? Of course, we can only blame ourselves for getting our news from a man who is most famous for being hit by a chair and finding Al Capone's empty vault. whatever.

3. "One minute, one minute from 11 o'clock when the eye comes through" Seriously. Is the sparkly New Years ball dropping or what? Was that Dick Clark standing by Geraldo Rivera? Too much.

4. Question "This is your neighbor bill, Geraldo, I was wondering if you were worrying about being swept out to sea and what is your plan?"
Geraldo "I have no plan. There is a lot of asphalt from the street out here."

5. Geraldo "This afternoon, conditions were a lot less severe than they are now."
"Just when you think you're through with it, it comes back and hits you in the behind"

6. Reported: Geraldo says "Chuck Norris, Walker Texas Ranger, will take in any refugees from the Hurricanes."
Again, NOT REFUGEES!! Evacuees! E-VAC-U-EES.

"Surge, surge, BIG surge"

"The Gulf of Mexico is like a great big power plant for these storms."
"I think there is more potential energy here."
And the genius reporting from Port LaVaca where there is absolutely NOTHING happening! NOTHING. And they keep putting him back on to tell us that again, NOTHING is happening...

"Now bricks from buildings are flying at us."
to be continued...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

(Ooh,ooh, ooh YEAH!)

Feeling that way about God?

Watch this...Then COME BACK HERE!

(First grab a Kleenex and some waterproof GreatLash, and turn up the volume)

Are You back?

Did you cry?

(I did! I did the Oprah ugly cry...thank goodness it was dark.)

Let's make our own cards!
What would your card say?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

YOU DHTBPTBB (Free the ducks!)

Over at Nesting Place, The Nester decorates with the mantra "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful". She recommends mistreatment of windows and other such wonders for feathering the nest.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

It's not just our windows. Sometimes we need to tell our hearts- you, made just as you are, don't have to be/look/act perfect to be beautiful. Maybe this is not a struggle for you- It is for me. I know it's a problem especially when it spills over to my children and my spouse. I am so intent on all the ducks in a row and frustrated with my inability to keep my feathered friends on their best behaviour that I decide I'll take over everyone else's ducks, too. It needles like nagging in sharp tones, it echoes in an exasperated sigh, it resonates in my tightly pursed lips (hello wrinkles!). None of that horrible pursuit of perfection is beautiful. It's ugly- from the inside out.

You are beautiful. You are. BELIEVE IT! The Bible says you are "fearfully and wonderfully made." God made you beautiful. When He sees you He catches His breath, His head turns, His eyes sparkle - you are his child. You know that feeling you get watching your baby do something? That's how God feels about us! We are beautiful. This beauty doesn't come from us- we don't create it. (Thank goodness!)It is from the Holy Spirit of the Living God. There is no true beauty without it. Keats said "Beauty is truth,truth beauty" .The Bible says that "Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life". Do you know the Truth? Tell yourself the truth- because "the truth will set you free". Free from the trap of perfection. Free from delivering your children to that same prison. When we strive for perfection as our goal, we push God out. Seeking to be perfect on our own, we alienate ourselves from the very source of peaceful perfection. God loved you so much that he sent his one and only Son to die for you. (John 3:16) All so your ducks don't have to be in a row. They can just be....well, ducks!

At the park, the ducks get to the water in a little wad of waddling. Everyone gets there-together. (Without my help!) No one is examining their feathers, insecure about them not being as fine as someone else's. Sometimes there's a nudge here or a quack there as a duckling gets too far away, but the point is not perfection- it's getting there together, as ducks. And that is a thing of beauty.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Second Post

Disclaimer: I hate the "first post" paragraph. It feels so choppy, like when essays are written that begin with the line "I am going to tell you about". For goodness' sake, get on with it. Don't tell me- TELL me! (That's great- now you probably think I'm some sort of wack-a-doo English teacher-type.Ha.) That being said, I guess it bears some sort of introduction.....

It was a cold and rainy night... not really, it was actually around 102 (sizzle sizzle) today in sunny West Texas, but whatever. After spending time admiring the sun-induced natural highlights in my red hair and trying to decide if I was really tan or if my freckles were actually holding hands, I headed to the computer. There I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, Nesting Place. ( The Nester is one fabulous decorator and person- the kind of person you'd want for a BFF and if you couldn't get to be that, you'd go around showing everyone how she signed your yearbook. So go check out her blog! When you're finished here , of course. Which may be now. Who knows?) Anyway, she mentioned that they were looking for writers at another amazing sight, Blissfully Domestic. The spectacular Mrs.Fussypants resides there as Queen. What? What's that? That sound like hail on a tin roof? Only the rapid-fire namedropping. Nothing to fear!

I threw my hat into the ring. So, they want to see my blog, they say.

So now I have one.

There you have it.