Archive for July, 2007

It’s almost time to get back to work

July 28, 2007

Monday in fact, is the Day. I’ve had a lovely week off. I did some more unpacking,

hung some quilts on the walls,house1.jpg(You can see we aren’t finished painting trim in the dining room!)

a few pictures here and there,house3.jpg.house2.jpgThis second picture is special to me. My mom stitched it, my dad made the frame. It was a gift for my Grandma (Mom’s mom) and it hung in her house for years. After she passed away I was the lucky one got the picture. I can remember my mom stitching on this picture when I was a girl. I always try to hang it in my house wherever I am.

Made some curtains for the laundry room,house4-copy.jpg and bought fabric to make curtains for the kitchen.

I did some knitting – 2 dishclothes and 1 surprise. Made some blueberry muffins house5.jpg which in my opinion have a tad too much baking soda in them. The recipe called for 1 Tablespoon of baking soda, and it’s too much. Not enough ‘too much’ to keep us from eating them tho!

I’ve been doing some work on my blogs and have some surprises coming up there.And today, since it’s a doubleheader on FSMW – and so far we’re getting stomped on – it’s a nice day in the sewing room.

But Monday! Back to work, which isn’t as horrible as it sounds, because I love my job.

Pudding Pops

July 23, 2007

I was so happy to see Pudding Pops in the freezer case at Walmart the other day. I’ve since done some looking around and it seems they’ve been back since around 2004. However, I didn’t see them till the other day, so they are New! puddingpops.gif

Don’t let the picture on the package fool you though. The pops are HALF the size of those, HALF the size they used to be. For about the same money I’d guess.

But – they are still yummy. 🙂

My Scarlett O’Hara dining room chairs

July 14, 2007

Over the years, many resourceful women have used one thing to make another. Scarlett used her mothers drapes to make herself a new dress. Maria used her old curtains to make new play clothes for the children. Karen used her drapes from the previous house to re-upholster her dining room chairs. So, I’ve named these… my Scarlett O’Hara chairs!

chairs11.jpg chairs2.jpg  chairs3.jpg  chairs4.jpg 

The ‘new’ door?

July 13, 2007

Remember the picture of our entry door?  And the glass we ordered? Which has never come. Can’t get ahold of the glass guy, and you can only live with a plastic tarp front door for so long. We felt so silly locking the door every night, but it just wasn’t right if we didn’t!

door.jpgSo, on to Plan B! Forget the window and let’s have a solid wood door. Yesterday included a trip to Lowes where we purchased the wood and the molding…so it would look complete and not like a window door with a piece of wood stuck in it.

Obviously the inside of the door must be repainted, and it will be painted white, matching the rest of the trim in the house. But the outside of the door must be repainted as well. Right now, it’s a dark green and the house is a warm taupe biscuit-y color. We’re kicking the ‘red’ idea around. i had to leave the red kitchen at the other house after all. Any color ideas? Riley suggested purple and was very quickly veto’d.

We’re Rich, We’re Rich!!!!

July 11, 2007

jar_of_change.jpgI have to admit, we’re ‘change savers’. There used to be one central jar that Mike would put his change into at the end of the day, but somehow the flow changed and I began to find coins in different containers all over the house. Not Mikes faux-pax , I did it too. I’d get the change out of the washer and just put it in a coffee cup on the counter. Actually now that I thing about it, I probably did all the flow changing, being to tired/lazy/slow to go find the official Change Jar.

So, now that we’ve moved, I once again found all the wannabe Change Jars, and once again, combined all our spare change into ONE JAR!!! Well, by the time all was said and done, we had a nice chunk of change. It was heavy anyway. Since we’re always trying to be frugal – especially now with the hugest hospital bill due to arrive anyday – we thought we’d turn that change into real paper money.

Off we went to Dillon’s Grocery where they have a cool change counting machine. While we were processing our change, 2 little boys came up behind us to watch the nickels and quarters add up. As the numbers rose, their eyes got bigger and bigger and finally the braver of the two said, “Wow!!!! You’re rich!!!!!” They kept talking to each other and exclaiming over our newfound fortune and finally after, oh I’d say, 15 minutes, the magical machine was finished. A receipt was spit out and we took it to the cashier. (I kind of felt like I’d been gambling!)

Our two little friends followed us, and were amazed at the fact that we received $56 from the lady behind the counter!! “Wow!!!!”, They said again, “You guys are so rich!!!” We smiled at them and responded appropriately.

On the way out the door I leaned over to Mike and whispered, “If we were so rich, we wouldn’t be turning in our change!” We started to laugh but it was too true. 🙂

BUT! For a few moments there, we were RICH!

Tomorrow is We Love Books Wednesday!

July 10, 2007


Woman to Woman – marriage

July 10, 2007


Tips and Tricks – Keeping your marriage alive: Whether you’ve been married for 38 years, 8 years or are a newlywed, you’ve probably picked up a few keys to a happy marriage, one which is nurturing and continues to grow. Maybe your marriage has struggled, but you’ve found a road back to each other and have insights to offer those in a similar situation.

What would you say are the three most key elements in your marriage that keep the romance alive and the heart aflutter?”


I am 48 years old and 2 ½ years into my second marriage. My first marriage was 26 years long and never good.  I made a basic mistake at the very beginning by marrying a non-Christian. If you’re a Christian, don’t marry a man who isn’t saved because you’re Sure you can lead him to the Lord. Especially when you have children. Things that didn’t seem important suddenly become important when the basic training of your child is at stake.

The key elements that keep our romance alive and our hearts fluttering are three very unromantic words: respect, security and always putting the other person first.

 You’d think it would be flowers, candlelight dinners and unexpected presents. Maybe some new lingerie or a trip to the day spa, getting the works. Those things are fine, but not much fun if you have underlying foundational issues that rob you of your romance and joy. Do the work and take the time to build a good foundation. It’s worth it.

 Security is key. I am so completely secure in my husbands love, that I flourish. And vice versa. I never worry about what he’s ‘really’ doing when he’s away from home. I can look at him with complete respect because he’s an honorable man, a man of integrity – and those ‘unromantic’ qualities keep my heart fluttering because I know he’s only into ME. And again, vice versa.

 Jesus tells us to put others before ourselves, to count them as more important than ourselves. Using this principle in marriage means we don’t fight. Combining this principle with respect, if I put him before me, while he’s putting me before him… it’s a win/win/win situation. Because I respect him, I don’t yell or argue or put him down in order to win a point. I listen. I may disagree, but I say it respectfully. And he does the same. We just talk. I know he’s not out to get me, and he knows I’m not out to prove anything. I am not a doormat wife. I have my own opinions which I voice without fear. It’s the ‘way’ in which you speak that make the difference.

 Ok, one more quality. Temperaments should be as like each other as possible. I know the age old saying is “Opposites attract? but I have to add, “They may attract, but they don’t stay happy very long!? The outgoing hubby who marries an introverted, quiet wife and wants to be out socially quite a bit, won’t be happy with her quiet mannerisms for long. Just an example, but it really helps if you’re either both homebodies or both social butterflies. If you’re both easygoing, it’s much easier than if one is easygoing while the other is intense. If you’re both intense, you can understand the needs of the other. In our case, we are both easygoing homebodies. We love our home and enjoy being in it and living our lives here, in this house. Our focus is on each other, not events or places to go. That being said, when we do go out, we enjoy it quite a bit. If you go out to dinner all the time, it’s not really special. We like to do some traveling, but are always happy to be home again rather than being sad our adventure is ending.

 These things work in our marriage, and I think it also helps that we are older and have some maturity, and some experience in marriage/life. You have to be true to yourselves as well. You can’t pretend to be something you’re not. You should be a whole person before joining yourself to another person. The principle is not “We make each other complete because we’re only half a person to begin with,? it’s “We make each other complete because we’re already whole in Christ and in our life before marriage.?  

 When my first marriage ended, I wanted nothing to do with another marriage. In my mind, marriage was a very unhappy and stressful state. I felt that I had finally escaped and now had my life back. God had other ideas! I’m not the type to go to ‘singles events’ or out to bars – alone or with friends! But I did find I missed social contact, and I found a Christian singles chat room that I liked. It wasn’t to find a man, it was to enjoy a few moments here and there with friends. But, on New Years Eve 2004, I met my future husband in that chat room. And 6 weeks later we were married. This is not something I’d generally recommend without specific guidance from the Lord and respecting all ‘internet dating’ boundaries and rules. It could be dangerous.

 When we met and I knew this was more than just another friend, I was scared to death. I prayed and prayed, “Lord, please take him out of my life if he’s not good.?  One morning in church, during the sermon, it was suddenly as if everything stopped, except the pastor continued talking. The only words I heard were these “Don’t let your heart be troubled.? Verse from John. I was shaken to my middle as I knew this His answer to my frantic prayers. As I look back, 2 ½ years later, I know without a shadow of a doubt this was the Lords voice, quieting my fears.

 And I have to say, I never knew marriage was like this. It’s good, solid and fun. It’s romantic and exciting. It’s enjoyable and lovely. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A few notes

July 8, 2007

First of all, thank you all for your prayers for Mike, and your understanding. We still have a road to travel, to find out what’s going on, but we’ll start on that road tomorrow.

Second of all, I had to change the ‘comments’ section. Because of the inordinate amount of spam comments I’m receiving, offering me scads of places to purchase prescription drugs, all the ‘real’ people now have to register in order to comment. What a hassle! I’m sorry, I wish the spammers would get a life and leave us alone.

Leah, thanks for sharing your trip down memory lane. HS’ing was not widely done in the 80’s, so your Mom was a real pioneer! In considering cost, I’ve found so much on the internet freely available – books you can download and burn to a CD or print, unit studies, all kinds of things. I’ll try to get a list of links together to share.

We will start processing CD’s tomorrow for mailing, but if we need to travel to Dr’s appt, it could very well be put on hold.

You guys are the best 🙂 Karen

As the world churns…

July 7, 2007

Somehow, someone got ahold of our lives and turned them into some kind of sick soap opera. You know they say, “Things come in Three’s!!” or “When it rains it pours!”. Well, we’re way past Three and it’s time to turn off the faucet.

If you’ve been following along here, you know we’ve been painting and moving. That’s a big job in anyone’s life. But not only did we repaint the interior of an entire house, we moved our business and a large household that has been housed in the same house for 30 years.

So, ok, we got 98% of everything moved. There’s a few things I need from the old house, curtain rod hardware, etc. No biggie.

We also changed format of the magazine to CD, which means a lot of work in Subscription Lists and since the printer isn’t printing anymore, he’s also not mailing!

The CD’s were finished, and shipped. They didn’t arrive. I don’t know where they went, but night before last they were spotted in the office. Hmmm, wonder who brought those?

At the SAME time, Mike got sick. So sick, he had to go to the ER on Sunday night. He spent 2 nights in the ICU and the next 3 days in a regular room, while they poked and prodded and tested and generally tortured him to the limits to find out what he had. Three different doctors gave three different opinions. Oh yeah, the ‘three’ thing. :/

At the SAME time, our internet didn’t work for approx. 4 days.

After being thoroughly disgusted with our medical staff, he decided to call his doctor in St. Louis. She returned his call promptly (isn’t that something for a doctor?) 🙂 but also told him, she was retiring. But would help him find a new doctor, closer to home.

All during this time, I know people are expecting their magazine/CD/booklet, but I’m spending my days at the hospital and not really caring too much about the magazine.

Well, we are home now, and I expect the work of shipping the CD’s etc will begin this week, but at the rate we’re going, who knows?

I know people are frustrated. It’s already July, and they haven’t received the June edition yet. If we were run by a magazine corporation, they simply would have pulled in some extra personnel and pulled it off. We don’t have any extra personnel. Our extra personnel is Shannon and Jack, and Shannon was sick as well, tho not with the same thing. And Jack would have just thought the CD’s were fun frisbee’s, so we didn’t put him on the job.

Mike is taking a few days to try to rest and gain some weight back. They had him on a clear liquid diet for the entire time, and then before some tests, Nothing By Mouth. He lost 9 lbs in 5 days. You don’t get sleep in the hospital, so he’s exhausted. He figured, from the blood they gave him and his blood counts, he lost 1/3 of his blood volume. That’s pretty sick. Now, if we can find out what’s wrong with him!

So, to any Cotton Subscribers who are reading this, I’ll do my best, but really, my first priority is my husband. And if for some reason, the CD becomes late, and then later and even later, I’ll make it right with everyone. I want you to be satisfied and happy with our magazine. Please bear with me, things will catch up. Won’t they? 🙂


To Workbook, or not to Workbook

July 1, 2007

I was recently, well, yesterday and today in fact, tempted to leave the disciplines of the Charlotte Mason homeschooling methods and subscribe to an online homeschool service. It was quite reasonably priced. It would be much easier. Just sit my child down, plug her into the computer and let her go! (yes, easier on ME)

Then I read this and was gently reminded that children grow on IDEAS, not FACTS. Which is why I’ve loved the CM method for years now, even when not homeschooling anyone.

I don’t remember anything from my US History class in high school, not one thing. But several years ago, I read some books by James Alexander Thom and I remember nearly everything he wrote. Living history. As I looked up the link, I realized I’m a bit behind in reading his books, there are some new ones.

So, since school starts again tomorrow (only a short summer break) I’ll be right where I’m supposed to be. And so will she.