Monday, October 11, 2010

Would Jesus facebook/twitter?

I've been considering the silly question, "Would Jesus facebook/twitter?"  I don't think facebook and twitter are evil in and of themselves; I believe them to be tools that are more often than not our master rather than the other way around.  God could have sent Christ as savior during any time period.  He could have chosen any medium He wished for sharing His message to us, but He chose the written and living Word.  He chose a time where there wasn't mass communication and/or social networking via electronics.  He chose face to face discipleship with just a handful of simple men.  Face it; Jesus didn't have a lot of friends by facebook/twitter standards.  But I'm deviating from my original question...if Jesus had chosen this present time period, would He facebook/twitter?  I honestly believe Christ would've been too busy doing what He was supposed to be doing with real people to be twittering His time away.  Sometimes, at the end of the day, I regret not having picked up the phone or gone to visit someone who needed a "real" friend, or I think about ways I could have spent my time ministering to the poor rather twittering, frittering, and farmvilling.  It's a time eater and a life waster.  Yes, I'm thinking about deleting my accounts again.  Yes, I know it will be more difficult to keep up with some people, but perhaps it's time to "bloom where we've been planted" and tend to the people in our real day to day lives.   Perhaps, we are neglecting the people God puts right in our path in the real world because we're too busy and lost in the surreal.  I'll sit on it a spell, but not for long.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Glory Daze ... NOT

Have you seen the ad for the new TV show, Glory Daze?  It's supposedly about college life, and here is a quote from one of the characters:

"THIS! is COLLEGE!!  I'm on my own now! It's crazy! There's no parents... there's no curfew... Wooo!!! This is gonna be a wild ride! I mean, who KNOWS what's gonna happen?!  THESE are the glory DAYS!"

Not only does the above ensure that I won't be watching this show, but it also makes me sad for the up & coming generation.  What a sad commentary on life.  Let's pick the quote apart.

No, you are NOT on your own.  You are in college; being on your own entails paying your own way, having a job with real responsibilities with no one to clean up your little life messes.

No, parents or curfew?  I hate you inform you son, but you cannot get away from rules....ever.  There will always be laws to govern societies; laws which you must obey....hopefully better than you obeyed Mom & Dad.

These are your glory days?  Oh, please.  If I know you, these are your shameful days.  Get real; get a job; get a life.

Jewels & Junk

Did you ever wonder why Hollywood has churned out so many "chick flicks" successfully?  I honestly believe there are so many movies about two "good" people finding each other and true love is because there is an appalling lack of "good" people out there in the single scene.  This predicament isn't a modern day novelty at all.  This has been true since before film was created.  Think about these words:   An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels. (Proverbs 31:10esv)  Translation: you've got a better shot at stumbling upon a diamond in your back garden than you do of finding a virtuous wife....or husband.
Seriously though, think about the process of finding jewels.  You have to do a lot of mining, digging, and sifting before you find anything...IF you find anything.  Most of what you'll find in the dating scene is stuff you just need to throw out.  The other deterrent is that you're more likely to find "fools gold" than the real deal.  How true is that in the single life?!  You can think you've found someone great who really has a heart for God, and then he/she turns out to be a fraud.  It's so disheartening.  This is why it's important to not only get to know someone BEFORE dating them, but also have people that you respect in the church advising you. Some of you have in the past asked your friends/peers check a person that you were interested in.  While that is good, why would you ask directions to the big city from someone who's never been there?  Ask someone in your church that you respect who is already happily married, someone who's already been where you are and made it out to the other side.  If you found something that looked like real gold, you'd take it to someone who actually knew what they were talking about to determine whether or not it was real and what it's value was.
Should you just give up hope?  No, I believe it to be the biblical normative to get married.  In many circumstances, it may be that you're digging too soon.  Perhaps, your gem hasn't matured yet or you're digging in the wrong fields.  Maybe you don't have the skills necessary for the whole mining process yet.  Have you consulted your guide book (Bible...oooh, that was obvious)?  This is just one of those times where patience is an ally. I'm not sure where I was going with this....I was interrupted no less than six times while trying to get this out of my brain before it was lost forever as parts of it already are'll understand when you're older lol

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I've gone back to comment moderation, not because anyone's been naughty, but because I'm rarely on blogger right now.  Don't worry though....I'll be back... ;)  I'm feeling a bit better, stronger everyday.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Laundry Room Fire Hazard

I know this picture is hard to look at and I can hear my mom's voice in my head saying, "Aren't you ashamed," but I need to post this if only to save someone from a house fire.  Dust bunnies behind, around, and underneath the dryer are a real fire hazard.  I had no idea that there was so much debris underneath my dryer!  In my defense, there was a hole in the hose leading to the vent, but if I had been keeping home properly, I would have noticed it sooner.  So needless to say, my day was spent in our tiny laundry closet.  I vacuumed, mopped, and wrestled for a very long time with the new dryer vent hose.  I really wanted one of those dryer dock hoses (pictured next), but no one had them in stock and I couldn't leave the job undone and make more work for my dear husband.

Next time I decide to tackle this project, I may invest in this little jewel FIRST.  I need to have my husband inspect the dryer hose before actually running my dryer.  I had to use electrical tape to tape it the wall vent before I could get the brace that holds it tightly in place on the vent.  Here's how my floor looked after vacuuming but before mopping...forgot to take that picture lol:

How to Clean a Dryer Vent Video

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I'm currently working on my Letters to Our Daughter blog which can be found by clicking on the link.....I will return shortly... :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Newest Book by my Dear Husband :)

Most children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are diagnosed between the ages of ten and twelve-right on the cusp of their adolescent years. Yet, until now, there have been no resources available for the substantial population of teens suffering with the unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and rituals (compulsions) characteristic of OCD. Free from OCD is an Instant Help workbook designed to correct that problem. The activities in this book help teens and parents work together to assess the severity of the symptoms and offer teens cognitive behavioral skills to overcome them. Teen readers learn essential information about the biology and dynamics of OCD, then discover a multitude of skills for moving beyond the most common types of obsessions and compulsions: hand washing, checking, counting, ordering, repetition of mental acts, fear of harm to self or family, fear of germs or diseases, fearing of losing something valuable, and perfectionism. The last section explains exposure and response prevention and invites the reader to understand and prepare to undergo this process. Both imagined and real-life exposure and response prevention exercises are included to help teens with OCD make dramatic gains in symptom management and improve their confidence to move forward in treatment.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Is Your Brain Being Shaped?

As we get wired, we get re-wired

According to research, people consume approximately 12 hours of media a day on average while at home (with simultaneous use counting as double). Computer users visit an average of 40 Web sites per day and at work, computer users change windows or check email or other programs nearly 37 times per hour. In a recent poll, most Americans reported that generally devices such as smart phones, cell phones, and personal computers have made their lives better and their jobs easier.
But more and more attention is being paid to the possible downside of all of this media consumption as well. Some of it is simply a matter of time – when we consume 12 hours of media per day at home we don’t have time for other things. For example, one in seven married respondents said that use of devices was causing them to see less of their spouses, and 1 in 10 said they spent less time with their children under 18.
However, scientists who have been studying media consumption and media multitasking are finding that there may by other effects as well, which range from our ability to relate to others to actual changes in the structure of the brain. For example, we are designed as animals to respond to immediate opportunities and threats as a way to survive. Sudden stimulation (such as a phone call, incoming email, or text message) provokes excitement (a dopamine surge) which can become addictive. People can become bored in its absence.
Some studies have suggested that excessive dependence on our devices is akin to an addiction, similar to issues people have related to food or sex. It may be an apt comparison, because while people can abstain from drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes, electronic media has become essential to modern life. In excess, though, the evidence is mounting that it is counterproductive at best and detrimental at worst.
Additionally, while multitaskers report feeling more productive, research indicates that heavy multitaskers actually have more trouble focusing and shutting out irrelevant information, and experience more stress. Even more concerning is that even after the devices are shut off, fractured thinking and lack of focus persists – our brains are actually being “rewired by technology,” says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, director of the Impulse Control Disorders Clinic at Stanford, has stated that we are “paying a price in terms of our cognitive life because of this virtual lifestyle.” Some experts believe that our personalities are being reshaped due to exposure to technology, causing us to become more impatient, impulsive, forgetful, and even more narcissistic.
The nonstop interactivity people experience these days is one of the most significant shifts ever in the human environment, said Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco. “We are exposing our brains to an environment and asking them to do things we weren’t necessarily evolved to do,” he says. Apparently that environment is here to stay. The question is how to we manage our relationship to it, and what the consequences are if we don’t.
As experts study the effects of “getting wired” and sound the alarm, no one has yet to spell out the solutions for us. Looking back in history, there have been periods of technological breakthroughs that have happened and we have plunged ahead, thrilled with the new convenience and speed in our lives, without thinking about future consequences. These days, new programs are springing up around the country to attempt to help people struggle with the technology that appears to be taking over our lives at a rapid pace, but it is a challenge for them to get the attention of the general public. If we could just, for a moment, sustain our attention in their direction, we might be able to hold on to that ability for just a little longer.
Samantha Smithstein, Psy.D.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Will You Survive

I've been working on a scrapbook for my family's ancestry, but I want to go beyond that.  I don't want future generations to just know names & dates; I want them to know stories about their grandparents and great great grandparents.  These stories not only give us a sense of continuity and belonging; they also give us strength for hard times and wisdom to not make the same foolish mistakes.  Today's society believes itself to be very connected because of cell phones and internet, but in many ways it's more disconnected as our relationships have become a mile wide and an inch deep.  We may know silly details about a person because of Twitter updates without knowing what their character is truly like or what they value most in life.  So much of our culture is being lost, and we are traveling at lightning speed to the fat, lazy humans in Wall-E.  We have already forgotten many of the skills necessary for our survival and have become dependent upon other, less "advanced" cultures to provide these things for us.  I could chase so many mental rabbits right now with all these issues, but I want to refocus on what I want from you.  I want you to talk to your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins while there is still time.  If they have lots of photos of relatives, make sure there is a name on the back so you know who it is in the picture.  Ask them what was going on in the picture or why the photo was taken.  Ask them to tell you stories.  Sometimes it's not enough to ask them to tell you about their childhood or past; sometimes you have to ask leading questions that will jog their memory, such as, "What did you do the night before your wedding to prepare for being married?" or "What did Great Grandma look like?" or "What did you do when it was so hot and there was no a/c?"  Don't let your family history and the wealth of wisdom die out with your generation.  Don't be like the fat people in Wall-E.

If you're in my family, can you name these people?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

While You Were Sleeping....

Check out this horrific news story (source is in the link above)

Chinese family planning authorities have detained 1,300 people to sterilise as part of a crackdown on parents who violate strict birth control rules.
Authorities in Puning, a city in southern China's Guangdong province, have detained the men and women against their will in cramped offices, according to state media.
There they are being forced to listen to lectures on laws limiting the size of families.
Officials in Puning last week launched a 20-day campaign to sterilise 9,559 women or their husbands who they suspect of planning to have a second or third child.
State media said that half of that number have so far agreed to comply.
The Nanfang Countryside Daily reported that those detained included parents who refused to undergo a surgical sterilisation procedure and their 'relatives'.
Among those held are the elderly parents of those who have tried to evade the family planning authorities. The newspaper claimed that on April 10 some 100 people, mostly old, were seen inside a 200 metre square building at a family planning centre.
The newspaper reported: 'There were some mats on the floor, but the room was too small for all the people to lie down and sleep, so the young ones had to stand or squat. Due to the lack of quilts, many cuddled up to fight the cold.'
An employee at the Puning Population and Family Bureau told the publication: 'It's not uncommon for family planning authorities to adopt some tough tactics.'
Among those being held was the 64-year-old father of Huang Ruifeng, who already has three daughters.
Mr Huang told the Global Times: 'Several days ago, a village official called me and asked me or my wife to return for the surgery. Otherwise they would take away my father.'
China launched its 'one couple, one child' rule in the late 1970s. The policy has some exceptions for groups including rural farmers whose first child is a daughter and ethnic minorities.


Recently, our daughter became a victim of sexting in the form of nude photos of a young man. I choose the word victim because this was something that was not encouraged and was a complete shock for her. Sexting has become somewhat of a hot topic in the news, with 48% of teens having received a sext message in one form or another. This is an appalling problem, but that’s not what this blog is about. What concerns me the most is the reaction of our daughter’s friends, brothers & sisters in Christ. They laughed. Even when they knew she was upset, they still laughed. Some even began telling their own sexual exploit stories and jokes (immediately following Wednesday night church services, mind you). What dreadful times we live in!
Granted, I have a few select friends that I have enjoyed a crude joke or two with and for that I am presently ashamed to admit. If you ever catch me laughing at or saying something inappropriate (which is easy for any of us to fall into in this present age), PLEASE STOP ME! Just hold up your hand and remind me to live Ephesians 5.
Our culture is completely saturated with sexual innuendos and coarse jesting and it is wrong…..sometimes funny, but WRONG. We have become so comfortable in the world that we are not even aware that we have become just like them. Honestly, how many of you out there have either said or laughed at “that’s what she said”? Come, on. Raise your hand. I know you’ve done it. I don’t even watch the show (The Office), and I’ve caught myself saying it. If you have no idea what I’m talking about at this point, be glad.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” How often do we fall short of this? This isn’t a new problem either. Colossians 3 tells us to put away obscene talk for our mouths.
Some of you reading this, think this is no big deal, but if you read Ephesians 5 very carefully, you can see that it is not only shameful but that you need to be sincerely searching your heart to discern whether or not your heart & life are truly surrendered to God.
Ephesians 5
5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Okay, so if you’re still with me, we’re agreed that this is a problem. We’ve admitted it, confessed it, and perhaps apologized for it. Now what? How can we stop this from reoccurring, especially given the prominence of it among those we come into contact with? The best way to get rid of a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. So for starters, we can apply Phil. 4:8-9 to our lives;

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Okay, but what about dealing with our friends who are still participating in this? If you’ve confronted them privately and they still will not repent, your first reaction should be one of prayer. Pray for your friend. Some of them will laugh and joke their way right into a life that is completely desolate and without hope or peace. Your second reaction should be to walk away. Don’t make a scene or walk away with a pouty attitude, just quietly leave. There is nothing more to say. It is important for us to remember that we are the temple of the living God. Read II Corinthians 6:16-18:
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”
We are to be separate, holy, a royal priesthood. I’m not talking stuck-up, Pharisee-like behavior. I’m talking humble (knowing how easy it is for us to be tempted) and prayerful obedience to God. I’m talking about striving to humbly walk worthy of the robes of righteousness that our Lord Jesus Christ died to place upon us. How about it? Who’s with me? Who will help me stand?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Turn Signals and Life in the Fat Lane

This past Sunday, I heard a wonderful sermon illustration that caught me completely off-guard. (Don't you just love those!) Tim Tinsley was going up the ridge cut in the left lane and found himself suddenly behind a driver who seemed to be having difficulty making it up over the ridge (haven't we all been behind someone like that?!). This driver had their right turn signal on, so Tim figured that as soon as the driver in front of him was able, he would move over to the right lane. WRONG! Isn't that totally frustrating? How many of us do that in our day to day lives....and, no, I don't mean while driving. For instance, for years I have been "indicating" that I am going to lose weight. Guess what? I'm still in the fat lane. I have claimed for years that I want to have a gentle spirit, and yet, time and again I find myself doing just the opposite. Why do I cling so tightly to my sin, all the while saying that I am going to change. Jesus, I need Thee every hour....

Thursday, April 08, 2010

I don't agree with 100% of this video, but I do agree with the principles behind it.

Set Standards Against Foul Language


This open letter responds to Her Highness Anonymous. At #885 she asked: “How does one go about setting standards such as ‘not using foul language’? I think if I were to ask someone not to swear in front of me, they would think I am crazy (I’m in college).”

The secret is: Don’t ask. Don’t expect to change the world. Expect to change yourself to preserve and protect your female sensibilities. These suggestions may help:

1. Retreat from words and behaviors that offend your sensibilities. Until you can do so courteously, purposely ignore spouters of filth or whatever and then move on without comment. Not easy in college life made outrageously boisterous with newfound freedom from authority figures.
2. Straighten out your own mind. Determine what’s of value to you and commit yourself to upholding it against everything and everybody. You first have to learn to be offended, to be turned off by vulgarities and offending behaviors. If not quite there yet, upgrade your expectations.
3. You needn’t tell someone not to be vulgar in front of you. Simply break off from the situation with no more than a courteous goodbye or dismissal. Don’t stimulate a confrontation. Don’t complain, don’t explain. Let them, especially men, figure you out. Mystery always helps females, because it earns masculine respect. When men conclude their vulgarity offends you, they will quit or tone down proportional to their respect for you and your presence. (Men love to fulfill ideas and conclusions drawn from figuring out some mystery.)
4. Quietly and unpredictably depart their company when people turn vulgar. It puts you in control of your life, which discourages depression. If you accept without contrary action the standards to which you’re exposed in college, people will automatically assume you have no higher standards. In effect, you’re just like them, and they’ll expect you to never deviate from their opinions. Do you want to be like them or someone else you admire more, such as yourself?
5. When you’re called crazy or worse, it takes guts to persist with extreme loyalty to yourself. However, think long term. Persistence earns respect, and more respect for you reduces vulgarity and name calling by others.
6. If your need to be accepted or popular overrides your personal preferences for civility, courtesy, and pleasantness, then your standards and expectations will decline. We all become like those with whom we associate.
7. People who shape opinions and influence others often appear crazy at first. If you purposely avoid appearing different, being called names, or finding things up to which you will stand against others, then you turn yourself passive for life.
8. Accept loneliness as companion to your soul even if not acceptable to your worldly self. College life is all about avoiding or escaping loneliness, and you should be able to find other ways than having your sensibilities attacked.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Elsewhere in this blog you’ll read that girls civilize boys and single women settle men down to help fulfill female hopes and dreams. For five decades American girls and women have progressively declined to do so. Teen and college males spread ever more offensive, tasteless, foul, gross, vulgar, ill-mannered, rude, and crude language and behaviors. With the supervisory role of females abandoned especially on campus, men later in life show little regard for female- and family-friendly values.

Obama, Addiction, and Red Priest

What do the above three things have in common? For me, one each one led to the next. Am I totally insane? Well, yes, but......I better explain. I have always had a strong dislike for the news & politics. All that changed during the last presidential election. Sure, there have been presidents that I have loved, liked, and couldn't stand, but all in all who was president didn't have a huge impact on my day to day life. When Obama ran for office, however, I took notice. A socialist running for president??? Had the country gone mad??? I suddenly found myself voluntarily turning on Fox News and began regularly listening to the Glenn Beck show. Anytime the tv or car radio was on, it was usually turned to the news; after all, this is scary stuff. I didn't realize that I had become such a Fox News junkie....well, except for when our daughter would teasingly roll her eyes at me sometimes when I turned on the tv or radio. This week, I finally woke up and realized that I had a problem. On Tuesday night we attended a chamber music concert. Granted, it was Red Priest, but it was the first classical music performance that we had been to in a very long time. As the music started and I began to feel my soul being soothed and calmed, I realized how long it had been since I had chosen to listen to music at home or in the car. How awful!!! There is nothing wrong with watching the news, but, as with anything, there comes a point where it can consume you if you allow it. Watching or listening to the news 24/7 will do the country less good (a WHOLE lot, nil) than will time spent on our news in prayer. Will I still watch the news? Yes, but I am presently making a concerted effort to pray more for our country and to fill my mind with "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise." (Phil. 4)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Walk in Love

If I had a patron saint, it would have to be St. Francis or Sister Clare.  I am fascinated by their complete giving of self to God and the ministry to the poor and prayer.  The film Brother Sun, Sister Moon is a MUST SEE for everyone in my opinion!  If my family had remained Catholic, I probably would be found cloistered at the abbey in Memphis.....though I would have found it difficult to lead a quiet lifestyle at times.  Anyway, let's not chase rabbits here.  Why am I telling you this?  While looking for the Publix mystery coupon in the newspaper today (why does my world seem to revolve around coupons?), I happened upon an ad for the St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church stating that they were holding a Walk in Love Shoe Collection until April 1st as part of their Lenten outreach.  This seems a perfect ministry for a body of believers named after St. Francis.  Here's a blurb from dated March 9th:

St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church Ooltewah will hold a Maundy Thursday service on April 1 beginning at 7 p.m. The guest preacher will be Brother Ron Fender.

Brother Ron is a member of the Brotherhood of St. Gregory which is a community of Episcopal men who live under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Brother Ron washes and provides therapeutic care for the feet of the homeless in Chattanooga.
As part of the service the membership of St. Francis will present Brother Ron with new and slightly used shoes to be delivered to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen to be dispersed as needed to the homeless in Chattanooga.
St. Francis invites everyone to participate in this Walk in Love Ministry. They are looking for donations of new and gently used walking type shoes sizes 8-14 (mainly men’s). Other donations of foot care products and socks are welcomed. There is a collection barrel located in front of the main entrance of the church located at 7555 Ooltewah-Georgetown Road. Cash and check donations are welcomed and will be earmarked to Brother Ron’s foot ministry. Checks should be made out to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.
The Maundy Thursday service commemorates the last supper of Jesus Christ with the apostles. Immediately following the service will be an agape meal. Agape is New Testament Greek for ‘self giving love” and this meal is a quiet time to remember meals that Christ shared with his disciples and others throughout his life. Everyone is invited to join the service and meal. For more information, call the church office at 238-7708 or visit The service will start at 7 and the meal will follow.

If you live in the Chattanooga area, please consider donating shoes, socks, or other foot care products.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Porch Curtains

We have a small screened in porch that has become my husband's sanctuary.  He loves sitting on the porch reading where he can hear the birds, feel the breeze, and......bake in the sun.  In the summer, the patio can be hot at times, so I would love to put up some porch curtains for the times of day that the sun becomes unbearable.  I'm still not sure how I can go about this, but here are some photos I found online for ideas.

Quick Giveaway!

Would you like a year's subscription to Better Homes & Gardens magazine for one year?  If I renew my subscription (which I will) I can give two subscriptions away for free.  If you would like a free one year subscription, just comment "pick me" (only on the actual blog website and not the facebook fan page) and I will give it to the first two responders.  Don't wait though; this offer won't last long.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Coupon Competition

I am by nature somewhat competitive, but it is something I war against actively in my life.  You would be surprised where this trait rears its ugly head. Thankfully, I can come online and read the blogs of so many wonderful women who surpass me in so many ways, and I am reminded to keep my eyes on what God has for me and not what He has for others. 

If it were not for the blogs of these super women, one area where I could have easily become competitive or proud is in the area of couponing.  This week my couponing organization had to morph into a medium sized tote with a handled lid. (My index card file was too full to hold my treasures.)  In the past when I went up and down the grocery aisles with my coupons, first with the notebook of baseball card pages for easy coupon view to the price book category -divided notebook and then to the index card box with coupons filed alphabetically according to brand name, no one paid any attention to me and I could shop undisturbed.  But, this week as I carried in my handled tote so neatly organized, I was stopped more than four times in 20 minutes with questions and compliments on my organizational skills and creativity.  While I find this amusing and it does bring a smile to my face, I don't find much pride in it because I know I am NOT a savings/coupon guru, nor do I believe I will ever be one.  I do not have the time, health, energy and resources to chase down every bargain as some of these women do.  I am ever indebted to these women who lay out the good deals and bargains for us and alert us to deals both good and bad.  All this is not to say that I don't want to do my best at saving money for our family; it simply means that I want to do my best, rather than someone else's best. 

“Don’t be too easily convinced that God really wants you to do all sorts of work you needn’t do. Each must do his duty ‘in that state of life to which God has called him.’ Remember that a belief in the virtues of doing for doing’s sake is characteristically feminine, characteristically American, and characteristically ...modern: so that three veils may divide you from the correct view!  

There can be intemperance in work just as in drink. What feels like zeal may be only fidgets or even the flattering of one’s self-importance. As MacDonald says, ‘In holy things may be unholy greed!’ And by doing what ‘one’s station and its duties’ does not demand, one can make oneself less fit for the duties it does demand and so commit some injustice. Just you give Mary a chance as well as Martha!”

C.S. Lewis, Letters to An American Lady

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Giveaway Winner

This month's winner of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God is:  A Joyful Chaos (link above).

March's giveaway will be short and sweet. Watch for it! :)

New/Improved Price Book & Coupon Organizer

After wrestling with my price book in the front of grocery baskets for a few weeks, a woman with a smirk on her face waltzed past me in the store with a large box of coupons that were filed in alphabetical order.  A light bulb immediately popped up above my head as I saw that there was indeed a better way to do this! Here are some pics of my new box.  Each item (listed by brand name) is written on an index card with current prices.  On the back of the card is an envelope that holds coupons for that item.  Set up took a little while, but when it came time to hunt for coupons to match up with items on sale, it was much easier and faster.  The box fits easily in the front of the basket, and there should be no more wrestling in the grocery store for me. :)  Happy day!





Friday, February 19, 2010

Lots of Clearance Sales!

On the 17th, I posted an article from IngDirect about major chains dumping many brand name items; well, it must be true.  Go to your local WalMart, Target, and/or KMart and marvel at all the clearance sales not listed in their flyers!  This is both good and bad news for the consumer.  It's good because, when combined with coupons, these clearance sales can make for spectacular deals.  It's bad because it will mean fewer choices in the stores and an even bigger monopoly for the almighty WalMart.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New - Blog Categories

I finally figured out how to categorize my blog posts, making it easier to find past posts on specific subjects.  Whew!  I am pleased to say that the most frequent subjects were modesty and anti-feminism :)

New Price Book



With the economy the way that it is, it has become necessary for me to use a price book once again.  When Amy Dacyzn began the Tightwad Gazette as a newsletter, I followed her in starting a price book and cutting corners wherever possible.  After a while, I had the prices of most things memorized and need my price book less frequently and eventually gave it up altogether.  Today, I made a new one.  As you can see from the photos above, the front section has a small calculator, a necessary evil for middle-aged brains like mine, and a pocket divider labeled "Today."  This pocket will hold the day's shopping list and any coupons I use.  The subsequent sections of the notebook are divided by category, much like a coupon holder would.  Each divider has a pocket for that category's coupons and each section holds a columned sheet for pricing.  I decided to make a separate page for items that I purchase on a regular basis, like milk.  Each sheet has the date purchased, the brand (if applicable), the store that the item where the item was purchased, the size (how many ounces, etc.), the unit price, the comparable generic price available at that store, if I had a coupon & the value of it, and the final price.  It may seem like a lot of work or too much (or too little) detail, but these are the questions that run through my brain when determining whether or not something is a good deal.  I think this or any other price book would be a good project for a lady in waiting or newly married.  If you have a price book, please comment below how yours is different, as I'm always open to new ideas.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Congratulations to Toteally Posh! chose her as the winner of my first giveaway.  There's still time for my February giveaway, so be sure to enter.  The next giveaway will have a much shorter time frame, so pay careful attention. ;)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today's Grocery Trip :D

Red Velvet Cheesecake!

I was sent this recipe from McCormick.....It's wonderful! :D  This cheerful double layer cheesecake is an indulgent new take on the traditional Red Velvet Cake.
Makes 8 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Refrigerate: 3 hours
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
2 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon McCormick® Red Food Color
1 prepared chocolate crumb crust (6 ounces)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed just until blended.

2. Measure 1 cup batter into medium bowl. Stir in melted chocolate and food color. Pour into crust. Top with remaining (plain) cheesecake batter.

3. Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Test Kitchen Tip: Drizzle cheesecake with chocolate or hot fudge dessert topping just before serving.

Here's mine:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Creative Storage

I was looking at creative storage ideas and stumbled across this photo....I want one! :)

Planning Menus

For the past 25 years, my husband & I have had discussions about what's for dinner.  Haven't we all?

"What's for dinner?"
"Chicken breast & vegetables with rice"
"I don't want a lot of stuff.  Let's just have chicken and mac & cheese."  Or  "I've had a rough day; can we eat something fun" translation: "I want something unhealthy that's qualifies as comfort food.

These conversations are now coming to an end.  I have his word on it.   This past week, my husband's blood work and EKG all came back with telltale naughty signs that we need to make some changes for the better and soon.  We had a little conversation about our daily "dinner" conversations, and he has agreed to not change my menu provided that I plan a weekly menu and post it for him at the beginning of the week.  I agreed to do so and not compromise on veggies.  We're both happy with this arrangement, but the ball is now in my court to plan ahead a little bit more.  If you've never planned out a menu there is a good weekly menu printout available HERE.  (Be sure to check out the rest of her blog as well; it's worth your time.)  So, here I am, winding up this week and definitely thinking about next week's menu.  This is going to be fun!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Can't Miss Deal!

Now through February 14th 2010, use coupon code HEART at check out and get 80% off of your gift card purchase. You can get a $25 gift card for $2.
Right now is offering a FREE bonus $15 FTD credit with every order.
1- Visit
2- Enter your city & state or zip code
3- Find your favorite restaurant & add the gift certificate to your cart
4- Enter coupon code : HEART
6- Check out & print your gift certificate
*This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.

Hat tip to:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

There's Still Time for the Giveaways :)

I just received my giveaway copy of Passionate Housewives!  I'm so excited because I purchased a copy for myself as well.  Can't wait to dive into it!  There's still time to enter February's two giveaways.  You can find them HERE and THERE

Singles' Awareness Day

It's that time of year again when singles, young and old, bemoan the fact that they are indeed single.  It seems that every generation whines particularly about "all" their friends having someone.  Well, I've got news for you.  It doesn't stop when you find yourself in a relationship, because then it will be that "everyone" is getting married.  When you're married, you're suddenly the only one not having a baby yet.  It never stops.  There will always be someone else who is "better off" than you.  There will always be someone whose blog is better than yours.  Ladies, if we find ourselves impatient in any of these life stages, then our eyes are focused on the wrong thing.  Our eyes need to be on God who will provide everything we need to accomplish all that He calls us to do.  Although they can be very joyous indeed, none of these life events will make us content in and of themselves.  Our contentment should and in fact, can only come from God.  It is only through our enjoyment of Him can we ever be truly happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.  When that happens, it doesn't matter in what stage of life we find ourselves; we will be happy and that is a beautiful thing that brings glory to God.  Sure, getting married is the normative plan for God's children, but if you are not content right now, in this very moment with where God has placed you, then you will not be happy married either.  Let's search our hearts' attitudes toward God because that is with whom our complaint really is.  You trust God with your eternal life, why not with this earthly life?

~Philipians 4

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Coupon Lingo

BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription

Blinkies List

These coupons should start appearing in your stores between Saturday 1/30 & Thursday 2/4 for grocery stores, 2/6-2/11 for drug stores & 2/13-2/18 for dollar type stores.

These are in no particular order:

Garnier Herbashine hair color $1/1 exp 2/28/10 tearpad - doesn't say dnd

Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-lift product exp 5/1/10 tearpad - doesn't say dnd

Kellogg's $1/2 frootloops, applejacks and/or cornpops cereal (10oz or larger) exp 3/6/10 dnd5

LaChoy creations (any variety) $1/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Any Celestial seasonings tea $1/2exp 3/7/10 dnd5

Sadler's dinner for 2 (any variety) $1/1 exp 3/6/10 dnd5

Scott extra soft bath tissue .75/two 4pks or one 6pk or larger exp 4/10/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Dial for men body wash $1/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Keebler town house crackers $1/2 (11.7oz or larger, mix or match, any flavor) exp 3/6/10 dnd5

Smart balance sour cream .55/1 exp 4/15/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Any Egg beaters .65/2 exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Eggbeaters .35/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd9

Kleenex .55/any 3 facial tissues or any 1 bundle pack of kleenex facial tissue exp 4/24/10 dnd5

Kleenex .50/any 3 facial tissues or any 1 bundle pack of kleenex facial tissue exp 4/24/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Keebler $1/2 chips deluxe cookies (14.5 or larger, mix or match, any flavor) exp 3/6/10 dnd5

Scott .75/2 or more naturals moist wipes tubs or refills exp 4/10/10 dnd5

Scott .75/4 or more rolls of scott paper towels long lasting rolls or mega rolls exp 4/10/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Pedigree dry food for dogs $1/1 any size bag exp 3/7/10 dnd9

Pedigree dentastix $1/1 exp 3/29/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Kraft $1/1 package of Kraft deli deluxe cheese exp 3/31/10 dnd9 & dnd5

Kraft $1/2 packages of Kraft or Cracker Barrel natural cheese (shreds or chunks) exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Red Baron .75/1 any red baron pizza product exp 5/6/10 dnd5

Land o lakes eggs .50/1 exp 4/28/10 dnd9

Johnson & johnson $1/1 (shows red cross) products exp 5/31/10 dnd5

Curly's pulled BBQ $1/1 exp 4/30/10 dnd5

$1/1 Softsheen-Carson products (let's jam, roots of nature, darl & lovely, optimum care, optimum oil therapy, sportin waves) exp 3/31/10 dnd5

Tampax .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Dollar General coupon - no numbers under the barcode)

Tampax .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Family Dollar coupon - no bar code)

Always pads or liners .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Family Dollar coupon - no bar code)

Always pads or liners .50/1 exp 5/31/10 (Dollar General coupon - no numbers under the barcode)

Silk half gallon (64oz) .55/1 exp 3/31/10 dnd5 & dnd9

Journey of a Thousand No's

My husband has for many years had trouble with his weight (not many of us hasn't) largely because he has a sedentary job and works 60+ hours per week.  His job is very stressful, and often finds comfort foods as his proverbial "carrot on the stick."  To help himself become more healthy,  he has begun what he calls his journey of a thousand "no's."  Every time he says "no" to food that is bad for his health, it counts as one step.  He keeps track of how many things he has abstained from, and when he reaches 1,000 he hopes to find himself healthier and lighter.  I'm sure this principle could be applied to much more.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Product Review: Publix Triple Berry Cereal

Let's face it.  Even those of us who rarely bought generic or store brand products because of the difference in quality are now being forced to tighten their belts and buy the cheaper products.  Wouldn't it be nice if someone who wasn't paid by the product gave you a review BEFORE you purchased and/or wasted money?  This week, I bought Publix Triple Berry cereal to try.  Here are my thoughts, scrambled and short though they may be:

  • Crunchier than Cheerios, but not in a bad way.  I actually liked them better than the name brand.
  • Lots of berries! Definite plus here!
  • Would I buy them again? Yes, I'll even go so far as to say that I would choose them over the name brand based on taste alone.

Make Your Own Dusting Cloths

Want your furniture to shine every time you dust but don't want the expense or time it takes to polish?  I recently discovered how to make your own oiled dusting cloths.  Here's what you need:

  • 1/4 cup of lemon oil
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • soft, reusable cloths (I used handiwipes so that they didn't get mixed in with other cloths)

Mix lemon water and hot water in a bucket and soak cloths (4 or so at a time) for 10 minutes.  Wring out and hang to dry.  When cloths are dry, store in an airtight container.  Doesn't that smell lovely?  Dust away! :)  When cloths are dirty, simply wash and reoil.  I was able to use a whole package (36) of handiwipes in the one recipe, so I'll be dusting for awhile before I have to reoil any cloths. :)
Here are snaps of what I finally chose for the wall that started the whole calendar art prints project.  The larger picture is from my calendar.  The frame originally held a print that was a painting of doors in a French village.  I liked the print, but it just seemed lifeless to me.  The two pictures on either side were purchased yesterday at Kirklands for $16 (for the pair).  I thought about using some of my other calendar prints, but as my daughter said, there were too many women on the wall. ;)  The bookcase by the window is all cookbooks.  I know that's an odd place for cookbooks, but we have a teeny house, and I LOVE my cookbooks :)