Rx: Open the Windows and Breeze Through January!

Rx #1:  It may be January in the Rockies, and a bit nippish outside, but what is that to stuffiness and last night’s garlic odors permeating the inside?  Why not build a fire, put on a sweater and big socks, and open the windows?

Then get moving and start Spring Cleaning.  Morning till about 2:00, when it’s time for just a few more details under the belt, and a bit of a walk out of doors, before a nice cuppa.  Have I lost my mind?  Why, you may be asking, would I want to do Spring Cleaning in January?  Is it because it will be way too nice outside to be cleaning when Spring gets here?  Or because the house is getting a bit crusty, what with doing only surface cleaning over the holidays?  Maybe it’s just that I can’t stand to open my closet, or the pantry, or look very closely at anything.

It could be a bit of all the above, but for me, it’s mostly that January can be a bit long.  But still, you may be wondering, how could cleaning make it better?  Cleaning is, everyone knows, menial.,  Wrong.  Menial, the dictionary tells us, means “not requiring much skill and lacking prestige.”  The dictionary can be misleading, I say.  Done well, homemaking requires a great deal of skill, as evidenced by how few people can do it.  As to lacking prestige, there’s very little that makes me feel better about myself and life in general, more prestigious, than a clean and orderly home.

To clean and orderly, add happily and beautifully decorated (not “fashionable and politically correct” decorating), comfortable and comforting, relaxing and restoring, aromatic with both home-concocted essential oil sprays (see below) and no-bake cookies (those are coming later this evening because we don’t want to get carried away with all this weight-loss and fitness stuff), and all five CD trays filled and playing Mozart, and I feel more than prestigious.  I feel blessed.

So, give it a try.  Rather than more of the same (leftover holiday habits) – eating and drinking mindlessly, watching stupid stuff on the Net, and feeling like a big lump, try my prescription.  First, open the windows . . .

As for that essential oil spray:  I had an almost-empty bottle of “Balance” from “The Good Home” and I just added water and more oils.  I didn’t have all the oils in the original and might I add marvelous formula, so I added several citrus oils, some Cedarwood, and Cassia, and went through the house spraying anything and everything.  I just  realized I forgot the Clove! Clove is on the way as soon as I finish this post.

Speaking of Clove, add it to your evening drink, or whatever else you can think of, along with other very warm and marvelous oils and spices, such as caraway, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cinnamon, and you will be both physically and emotionally fed.

Rx#2:  This is for getting through long January evenings when you’re sure it must be bedtime and it’s not yet 7:00 p.m.  This is when I do my evening ablutions (such a lovely word), put on my pajamas, and settle in with a very good book (ideas coming right up).  If I get sleepy again before I want to turn in, I take a break and make a lovely evening drink, and here’s the recipe:

Warm milk, honey, vanilla extract, with cinnamon and nutmeg on top.  This must, of course, be imbibed from your very favorite mug.  You could try this, or your variation thereof, and call it your January bedtime story drink (we did this with goat milk when the kids were little and read aloud together – very fun and a way to get rid of the free goat milk our neighbors gave us).  This is a perfect time to concoct your own version of an Internet Chai recipe – I just look for what looks really spicy, then double the spice amounts.  Yay! for warmth in January.

Maybe in February (Valentine’s Day and Chocolates) add cocoa and almond flavoring to your drink and plenty of ORGANIC* heavy whipping cream.  Don’t think of this as fattening.  Rather, have only one reasonably sized mug of it and think of yourself as blessed.

And now for those books:  I started one the other night and had to tear some of the pages out lest anyone in my house see me reading such trash (OK, so you don’t do that, but do you hide the Jo Jo’s?).  Finally, this entire book went into the trash.  I went to the library the next day and came home with TREASURES:  Comstock Lode by Louis L’Amour and Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington.  I’m about 2/3 through Up From Slavery  and halfway through Comstock Lode.  Both are riveting.

It’s about time I had a cuppa (something) and did a bit of reading – Booker T. and me, and Louis as well, so swell (I know you’ll forgive my corny-ness).  Thanks for being with me, and I wish you a Happy, Blah-Free January.  Amen.

*I said ORGANIC because otherwise you may be drinking carageenan, which for me causes joint pain.  Not good, not what I want to be worrying with in my fun January.

 

The Homefront Radio Show Wednesday, December 11 with Bronia Olivas Speaking On Tongues

I have a preliminary intro to Wednesday’s Homefront Show, and I’m sharing it here and now, but making no promises.  Because it seems that more I prepare for and nail down the Show just exactly how I think it should go, the more apt the Holy Spirit is to say, “No, don’t say that, say this.”  The very subject about which I’m most self-satisifed and sure my listeners will LOVE, is the one that at the last minute seems trite, boring and/or irrelevant.

So, again, here’s a possible line-up of the show coming up at 8:00 Mountain time (9:00 Central) Wednesday morning, December 11:

Hello and thank you for joining me today on the Homefront Show, where among many other excellent subjects, we’re going to talk about setting the tone for your home, about doing away with the pie sliver mentality –  we’re going to STOP with the lack thinking.  Enough with not enough! 

Rather than thinking about what we want and need we’re going to think about what we have and what we can share.  It is TIME  to stop sharing our miserliness and our misery (root word miser and it is a godless word), and start being a blessing to ourselves and others as well, especially those living in our houses.  We’re going from Households of Hate (I hate myself and I hate my life) to Households of Faith.  We’ve got some Faith ABC’s – Basics that any and all of us can get, today on the HFS.

But before we do anything else, let me ask this question:  Do I have a listener considering abortion?  I have been dreaming about babies, and about a young woman considering abortion.  So I want to ask this question, and tell you to stay with me – we’re going to talk about this.  And if you have an abortion in your past, and you’re still under that cloud, we’re going to talk about that as well (short, sweet and to the point).  Because there is one way, and one way only, to deal with that kind of cloud, that kind of weight.  So whatever your weight, your regret, your crippling past issue or issues (they seem to travel in packs) whatever. . . have I got a deal for you today on the HFS.

The subject of giving is on the roster as well.  And . . . the Power of Total Immersion.  And . . . Bronia.  Bronia Olivas – isn’t that a lovely name?  It’s for a lovely person, who will be talking about today’s controversial subject, and hopefully take us from controversy to revelation  (Bronia will do her part, you’ll have to choose whether to respond in stubbornness or faith)  – that’s what I call a battle, at least it is for me.

We were created for battle, and we need to wake up in the morning and gear up.  It is absolutely ridiculous for Christians to be worrying about what the devil’s up to. It is downright sin.  So we’re going to talk about the downright sin of worry today, and about the stupidity of disobeying our commanding officer’s commandments!

Opinions are also open for discussion today.  Everyone has an opinion, and very often we find no one is really interested in ours.  We think our opinions are soooo interesting, so important, but I don’t see much in the Bible about the  importance of my opinion.  There is no Book of Beverly.  We especially have opinons about other people.  So, speaking of other people, contact someone who needs a bit of revelation and maybe rerouting for their day, for their thinking, and get them to get with us today on the HFS.

I want to begin the Show with the opinion thing.  I read a devotion about the difference between going to Jesus and going to the telephone with opinions, and you can guess which one gives you the more harmonious, more victorious outcome:

LIMITLESS LOVE DEVOTION, December 8, 2019

(So there, Dear Potential Blessed Listener, is your list of reasons to tune in to https://1360khnc.com/ Wednesday, December 11, at 8:00 am Mountain Time.) 

And Thanks!

Just Say “No!!!!” to Black Friday

Hmmm.  Let me see . . .  My choices are:

  1.  Sleep in.  Get up and build a fire.  Put on the tea kettle and prep for French Press Lavazza with heavy cream.  Put a nice slice of pumpkin pie next to three-layer carrot/pineapple/walnut cake on a gold plate.  Welcome the first sleepyhead who peeps in at the marvelous scent of coffee.  Partake before the now-crackling fire, together.  Or, perhaps alone, which works as well.  Decide what, if anything, I will do today.  Thank God . . .or;
  2. Get my crying-out-for-peace body out of bed at an ungodly (word of the day) hour to stand in lines, push and shove, possibly even trample or be trampled, in the MINDLESS pursuit of plastic junk paid for on plastic, to end up in a landfill full of plastic long before it’s paid for.
    1. JUST SAY “NO” TO BLACK FRIDAY.

There’s a Granny in the House!

John’s mom, Colene Parker, is with us for a few weeks, and it is just lovely.  That’s because we’re just youngsters in our early 60’s, and it’s always nice to have someone about thirty years older —  to care for and enjoy, to talk with and listen to, to take us out of ourselves, and to remind us how young we are.

It’s nice to have peaceable oldsters, vintage treasures you could say.  And if they keep their silver hair done, and their bright pink nails as well, wear plenty of jewelry, and lovely sweaters with their new blue jeans, so much the better.

If they agree with you that your children/their grandchildren are truly the finest folks ever, what else do you need, really?  We have our mutual admiration society, and dissenting opinions/views need not be considered.

It’s true.  Men very often do marry their mothers.  I once would have said my mother-in-law and I have love of John, and our children/grandchildren in common, and not that much else.  But as I study her, I have to reassess.  We both consider ourselves good managers (“not bossy, my ideas are just better”)* We both like music, art, things that sparkle, reading and crosswords.  We think a good time is what we did on the way home from the airport after picking her up Sunday night:  exclaim over all the Christmas lights; wear red and extra eye make-up, talk about blessings, eat and buy Alan Jackson Christmas CD’s at Cracker Barrel.

We made arrangements to meet Hannah (my daughter who is also lots like Colene) at Cracker Barrel.  We talked about the beloveds in our lives, and how perfect it was that Colene flew in the day before the imminent big snow.  I planned (knowing she’d agree) that we’d build a fire and read romances and drink coffee with Peppermint Jo Jo’s the next day.  We enjoyed our little circle of love.

John smiled at me in the mirror as we drove, (Colene sat beside him because it was easier for her to get into the front seat, and as I prefer sitting in back when I can) saying, “Thank you for being nice to my mommy.”

What’s not to like/love/appreciate?  She raised you, and she did a darn good job.

Plus, she likes, and is lots like, that gal in my mirror.  Who can resist?

 

Coffee Table Fun, Golden Retriever Puppies who Never Make a Mess, and Ignoring the Naysayers when Decorating!

 

And, you can’t really do this playing it safe.  White.  Gray.  Grey.

A coffee table that’s too large, too small, too nice to put your feet on.  Too new.

What would happen, I wondered, if I turned that old, very old, dresser on it’s back.  The size would be perfect.

What happened was my daughter, Hannah, laughing until she had to slide down the wall and sit in the floor.  Just you wait.  She and every other doubting Thomas in my house went to bed.

As did I.  No, I won’t use it.  I’ll just do something else.  It’s too out there, even for me.  I went to sleep.

But then.  I woke up thinking of the exposed slats in the bottom of the old dresser, exposed and right in front of the couch.  And I thought . . . I wonder . . . Would that picture of the Golden Retrievers fit?  Nah.  Too long.

But I went to get it and tried it out and you can see the results below.  You can see what people who put their feet (pillows and warm socks always provided at our house) and their coffee on my coffee table see when they look down a bit.

And now, more of my welcoming, cozy, answer to the Bleak Facade:  (first you must decide which puppy you like best)

That’s a vintage (a-maz-ing sound!) record player in the corner – Neil Diamond “Moods” is playing.

 

The pram in the dining area (next to the piano) holds CD’s and a CD player.

 

Yay, Hooray, Today is the Day

Summer Put Away

Autumn Holding Sway!

Color, Clamor, Leaves Gone Quite Wild

Light Fine and Clear

Let us all Rejoice!  Harvest is Here.

Romancing the Guest Room – Hideous Before and Lovely After

BEFORE . . .

This room was a lovely but a bit chilly in blue and white.  Put in new windows and remove the old sills, and it’s a bit of a horror.

Using what’s under my nose, i.e. paint I already had from other projects, I decided on the pale aqua and green yellow.  “This is going to look like a nursery,” my son predicted.  

Not if I use red accents.  Just you wait.

AFTER!!!

Master Woodworker Husband John and Dire Predictor Son Seth set to work on the new window trim, and as you can see (pics don’t do the perfection of their work justice) the results are lovely.

(There’s always more to do, little touches here and there.  For instance, I am going to paint the frames on the little French biker children a shiny copper, as the dark frame detracts).

I am especially pleased with my red efforts.  I had already made curtains out of the red polka dot fabric (a hand-me-down from a seamstress friend) and they had a bit of surplus length.  I took that surplus and made the little valance for the smaller window, then took a crocheted piece from the linen closet, and tied it with a red ribbon.

 

On the antique dressing table chair (above) I added a Mary Engelbreit pillow – with red, of course, and on the walls opposite are quilted wall hangings, as well as a never finished quilt top (another hand-me-down), all of which contain a bit of red.

Does it look like a nursery?  Not according to the two guests who have so far enjoyed it.  “Lovely, absolutely lovely,” is the verdict.  And again, except for one additional can of paint, I used only what I already had – right under my nose.

What if my Success is More Successful than Your Success?

I know about Vision Boards and The Five Habits of Successful People; and about Morning Routines!!!  I’ve heard about The Seven Things Successful People have in Common, or is it Eight?

I’m familiar with the idea of turning off the loveliest of classical music, and certainly not listening to The Eagles telling me to Take it Easy, because there are motivational speakers to be heard while I drive.  And when I’m putting on make-up.  Then as I whip up a politically correct dinner, I can listen some more.

I know “successful” people are disciplined and determined and consistent.  At what?  At going after their dreams, being all they can be, living life to the fullest!

I am thankful for such people, and thankful I’m not one of them.  I, too, have my eyes on the prize, my goal clearly mapped out and pursued.  The prize is the high calling of God, and for me that is first and foremost the care and keeping of home and family.  The goal is to be so enamored of God, my ears so keenly tuned to the Holy Spirit, so after Jesus, that like Him, I only do what I hear my Father say to do (not there yet, but on the journey).

That means I get to live a life of adventure and excitement and a somewhat giddy unpredictability.  This life is much tougher than getting up at 4:00 am to write a by-God-I-will number of words daily, do my prescribed workout minutes, eat my egg whites, drink my protein shake, dress for success, and all before 9:00 a.m.

This life is for those crazy enough to forget all that and to try walking on water – no formulas, no gurus to look to.  Only Jesus.

This life is for those willing to labor to enter into His rest, to be led down the path straight to His blessed, favor-filled, victorious Garden of Eden life.  Success!