Monday, January 31, 2011

Start Thinking Now about your Garden

Hi Friends,
It's January.  The holidays are over.  We are looking forward to spring which is still a few months away.  Now is the time though to start planning your garden.  I'm referring to your fruits and vegetables that you will be growing to cook and eat but you can start planning for your flower bed as well.

There are plenty of benefits to growing your own garden.

The first is to save money.  One of our goals is to cut our grocery expenses by growing our own food.  Be sure to keep a garden journal.  You will learn that you don't need as many tomato plants but possibly more strawberry plants to fit the needs of your family.  The garden journal helps you tweak your garden each year to what works best for you and your family.

The second benefit is that it is a productive use of space.  I work hard to use available space to grow fruits and vegetables.  Personally, I think my vegetables look pretty as well.  They are lush and green.

Third is a garden is sustainable living.  It feels good to do something that’s not only beneficial to us, but also friendly to the environment.

A garden can provide extra income.  I don't sell my produce, but having a side job can motivate some. If you find that you’re good at gardening and you really enjoy it, you may earn a small side income by helping others create their own garden, or by selling what you grow. 

My garden improves community relations.  Some of my neighbors are hibernators in their homes and we never see them.  When I get extra tomatoes, I take a few minutes to visit my neighbors and say hello to them.  I think some people get stuck in their own little worlds and forget to see everyone around them.  My neighbors always seem so happy to have me come by for a little chat and it is nice to get to know one another better.  They go out of their way to say hi to me if I'm out front and they're driving by.

Another benefit is that that everyone needs a hobby and to get creative.  Tending to our garden is relaxing. It’s nice to see progress with the plants and appreciate a little bit of nature.  I find it to be a real opportunity to pray and become close to God as I work in the soil.

So there are my benefits.  Start thinking now of what you might like to grow in your garden.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Some of the Germiest Places Around and What to Do about Them

Hi Friends,
Today I want to talk to you about germs.  I'm not a germ-a-phobe, but I think it just makes sense to use some precaution as well as good hand washing.  As parents, we need to teach our little kiddos how to wash at the sink properly.  Kids should soap up for the length of time that it takes to sing the ABC's twice or Happy Birthday twice.  It is a great way to teach the youngest in our families their ABC's.

There are many germy places and the first I want to mention is shopping cart handles.  When my kids were little and sat in the cart, they didn't have the disinfectant wipes available like they do today.  Use them.  It also goes to say, be sure to wash your hands after putting the groceries away.  Have you ever been to the restroom in the grocery store to see one of the workers leave and not wash up?  Yuck!

Your cutting board.  Use one side for meat and the other side for vegetables.  Better yet, have two different cutting boards on hand.  Wipe with warm sudsy water after using.  Then spray the board with a mixture of 1 pint of water to 2 Tablespoons bleach.  Let the bleach mixture sit on the cutting board for 5 minutes and then wash again with warm sudsy water.

Your kitchen sink has plenty of germs.  Be sure you change out your dish rag or sponge daily.

Don't sit your purse on the table or on your kitchen counter.  Where was your purse sitting before you put it on your table?

Other places to think about in your home:  computer keyboards, telephones and cell phones, door handles, light switches and stair rails.  I have learned that after the kids go to school for the first week in the fall, it is in my and my children's best interest to go around and hit all these places with a Clorox wipe.  I also wipe these things down again when anyone comes down with a cold.

Places outside the home to consider besides shopping carts:  ATM keys, hotel remotes, pens at the bank that are attached to the counter with a beaded chain, and first floor elevator buttons are laden with germs.

Like I said earlier, I don't consider myself a germ-a-phobe.  I just think good hand washing before eating makes sense.  It is also good to teach your children not to suck their thumbs or bite their fingernails, a very hard task that can be though. (Sometimes I catch myself biting my nails.)  I also keep a container of antibacterial wipes in our vehicles.  There are times when we must make the quick run through a drive through.  That is when I pass out the wipes so the kids can scrub a little before eating.  When in the car and I use the wipes myself, I also make sure to wipe down the steering wheel.  Remember, I was just pushing that grocery shopping cart before getting in the car.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

If you have just 4 minutes, take the time to watch this beautiful video.

Relish the moments this day will bring and the sweet memories of moments gone before.

I ordered my copy of the book yesterday from Dayspring. I can't wait to read it. There has been such great words and comments about it on the internet.

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Published by Zondervan

Come join the community taking the dare to LIVE FULLY

Friday, January 7, 2011

How To - What 5 Minutes of Focused Organizing Can Do

Hi Friends,
Today I’m going to talk about 5 minute organizing. I’m going to say right here and now, you will be surprised just how much you can accomplish in only 5 focused minutes of cleaning and organizing.

I have a small kitchen timer that has a clip stand. I’m able to clip it to my pants pocket and set it for 5 minutes. A timer is a great way to help keep you focused.

Here are just a few examples of things you can do in 5 minutes or less.

Make your bed

Clean old leftovers out of the refrigerator

Empty the dishwasher

Sweep one room

Fold a basket of laundry

Clean out your purse

Do 5 minutes of dinner prep such as chop an onion

Wipe down your bathroom counter and mirror

Empty the trash cans and take out the garbage

It is so easy to waste 5 precious minutes here and there throughout the day. ALWAYS have a small project available to work on in your purse or in the car. When we travel to appointments or to pick children up from activities there is always waiting time that could be used to accomplish something. That small project could be a hobby such as some needlework or it could even be going through a magazine and pulling out the items you want to keep. Then you can throw the magazine away.

I plan my phone calls to friends when I can multitask. I can guarantee if you call me on the phone I will be sweeping the kitchen floor or wiping the kitchen counter, watering my houseplants or even dusting. I will be doing some mindless task so I can concentrate on the phone conversation and yet still accomplishing a small chore around the house.

Perhaps your have a large project. Can you do only 5 minutes when you have the chance? I hate filing paper and it tends to pile up. If I file for 5 minutes, I probably won't have my stack of paper completed, but my stack will be smaller, that's for sure.

I challenge you to give the 5 minute timer a try and just see how much falls into place around your home when you do something during those 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolutions With Meaning

Hi Friends,
I'm guest posting over at Wonderland Kitchen where I'm talking about making resolutions with meaning.  I hope you will stop over there and say "hello"!  Katie is the author of the blog over there and she talks about one of my favorite things, cooking!

Anyway, grab a cup of tea or coffee along with a pencil and paper and start thinking about the resolutions that will be the most meaningful to you and I'll discuss how to achieve them.

Handbook For Life

This is something that has been going around the internet. I'm sorry I don't know who the original author was. I think it is so well written and it's how I try to live my life.



Drink plenty of water.
Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured.
Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
Play more games.
Read more books than you did in last year.
Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
Sleep for 7 hours.
Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.

Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
Don't over do. Keep your limits.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
Dream more while you are awake.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
Smile and laugh more.
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Call your family often.
Each day give something good to others.
Forgive everyone for everything.
Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
Try to make at least three people smile each day.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Do the right thing!
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
GOD heals everything.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
The best is yet to come.
When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.


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