This was one of my very first books two years ago. It is loaded with all sorts of fun and good advice on cleaning, cooking, budgeting, and being frugal. This is more for the new housewife, you veterans might get bored with what you already know. The ebook is free all week and if you miss out it is only .99 cents, less than a gas station coffee.
You don’t have to run off to the Himalaya’s and live in a cave to find God…or peace of mind. Why, you can do it right there in your home, right here in your life!
Let me tell you a little story: Once upon a time I had my first child and something happened to me. I had this huge shift and suddenly my heart opened wide and I cried for the world and all the humans out there hurting, starving, the planet and all it’s woes, global warming, war, disease, shootings, stabbings, more war, hate, pollution, corrupt governments (and not just ours), and abused animals. I cried and cried and worried and fretted and worked my worry beads into frayed bits.
Then I stopped watching the news, switched to an antenna and started watching those old westerns with John Wayne. I got off Facebook (I post my blogs there but I never read through the newsreels, I’m sure I’ve pissed a lot of people off with my lack of “likes”), I even stopped listening to the radio. I only listen to Pandora online because I can create my music and there are no commercials or news breaks. I definitely stopped reading magazines and articles on issues. Whew, that was better.
I started exploring things like Good News, Positive News, and other sources that were filled with great news. And guess what? There is a lot out there but you have to search for it because that damn #$%&!@$ mainstream news with its toxic poison is what sells and owns all the channels and stations right now. That is until we wake up as a mass consciousness and say, “Enough is enough!”
If you want the links to all this great news, find my blog “To those who think the world has gone to hell in a handbasket”. I put a stack of great links in there.
I created this little world and it was so happy and I felt alive and cheerful most days. I also found that living in a city was a bit much for me so I shopped at quiet times and took the kids to the playground in the early hours before all the madness. I keep my calender pretty clear and I am picky about who we spend time with and where we go. Why not tailor a world that fits you and your family?
So, recently I started getting back into the news when we had our big and wet, wonderful winter. It was all weather and snow and floods and so I enjoyed it. Then it turned ugly again and I could feel myself getting a bit depressed and fearful. When you cut yourself off from the mainstream for even a few months and then reenter it is a shock to the system. We become so desensitized that, although the damage is still taking place, we don’t feel it much. Well, we do but it comes in the form of overeating, not sleeping, needed 3 drinks in the evening to “wind down”.
I’m no goody two shoes but I am older now and have babies and I like good wholesome fun and entertainment. I also find that what I watch, listen to, and take into my mind affects me profoundly on a deep level. It affects my moods and will decide if I live in a gray cloud or a beam of joyous sunlight. The people around me affect me deeply also. I wish I was made of iron and was detached as all get out. But I’m not. I have children now and I have become a regular crier among other things.
All that media is disconnecting us as a brother/sisterhood. Parts of media connects us in global ways and is helping to make great changes now that we can all reach out and communicate across the globe. Part of the plugging in constantly is creating isolation and an inability to socialize.
I see it with my boys. They are so into playing and being with me and together, then I plug them into the computer and suddenly I don’t exist. It made me think about this day and age and how everyone is looking down at their iPhones scanning and scanning FaceBook or Twitter or what not and they are completely checked out of where they are at present.
I watched Tootsie last night. Great comedy with Duston Hoffman from 1982. I was watching a party scene and was remembering that time when no one had laptops or even computers. Cell phones were not even on the radar. Of course it was a movie, however, everyone was chatting and engaged. Now, you don’t even see a family go to dinner without someone on a phone or iPad. It’s almost as if parents can’t take the mere noise or liveliness of a child anymore.
Now, on a positive note, I do think this is something that many people, even millennials are becoming aware of and trying to ease up on the cell phones and such. I’m seeing a bit less of this and people are beginning to engage more at restaurants and parties. Perhaps the thrill of it is fading or people are starting to realize how really silly and boring it all is after awhile. Only the hardcore addicted or shy ones still remain glued to the tiny screen and scanning to here and Timbucktoo. It’s ridiculous to be out with friends and to be so busy checking your facebook to see what people are doing who aren’t even with you at the moment. It’s ridiculous to take pictures of your ever meal and to post what you said to your husband or wife every five minutes. Tell your wife you love her and spare the rest of us the sentiment. Do people really not get how silly it is when they post declarations of their feelings on Facebook that really should have been a sweet and private moment between to people? Maybe I’m not getting it because I come from a time when you had to find a payphone if you were late to dinner. I had my first computer experience in high school and it was some weird box with some mathematical riddle I had to enter along with letters and control buttons. It didn’t go well.
As for what is happening politically and environmentally? I’m not ignorant to what is going on out there, I’ve just decided to pick and choose the items I want to fill my world with. I don’t know how long I have on this Earth and I can only help in so many ways. I do my part both in my home, with my money, and charity work globally and locally. I’m aware of the comedy of errors in our government and system and I’m too aware of the suffering of others.
But there is a way to do our part, be extremely helpful and also be happy. We can be sustainable in our household, in the ways we live, play and work. We can volunteer, do mission work, donate, and support good causes. We can be an example of love and goodness. And then we can stay away from news, Facebook, Twitter, and all that nonsense. We can sign up for all the Good News and Positive News sites and feeds if we must have something. That way we began to see the world in a whole new way and we begin to have great hope and faith.
I have even gone as far as to move back to a smaller town. Partly because it’s all we could afford and mostly because I can’t take being crowded in by so many people and all this unnatural cement and housing. I need a balance of in town living and nature right down the street…or a farm.
My husband’s cell phone goes off all the time with this buzzing. I asked him what the heck is that all about? He said it was notifying him of email or whatsapp.com notifications. Rediculous! I will be honest in that I find it absolutely ridiculous beyond ridiculous that a person has the cell phone tell them everytime someone farts on Facebook or they get an email. Where the heck is the peace for crying out loud?
Do what you want but then don’t be confused as to why you can’t sleep, why you’re constantly stressed and anxious. Don’t be surprised when your drinking starts to increase. You are over stimulated by sounds, colors, media feeds, world drama, misery, rays coming from computers and phones. It’s beyond toxic and there will be no peace and rest until a person puts that phone away…far away…farther…in the cupboard. There you go. Now, shut down the computer, Facebook, twitter, and the news. Ahhhh, isn’t that nice? What’s that noise? That would be a bird in your yard, yes, been a long time I know.
I found this link and wonderful article while looking for a photo for the topic of making a difference in this world without even leaving your home.
Now, this article is about how women farmers are growing here in the US and making changes in farming with organics and sustainable farming. I know from several articles I skimmed today that this is actually a global thing. Women all over the world are taking up the plow and making a difference.
But how do we make a difference right at home? Be you a homemaker or office lady or gent, you can make a huge difference without much effort, let me show you some ways:
- Put your money toward companies and establishments that are doing business and farming in sustainable, conscientious ways that take into account all humans and animals and the Mother Earth.
- Discontinue buying from companies not practicing ethical and environmentally kind, responsible ways.
- Support organic farming, especially local farming.
- Support local mom and pop shops and stores.
- Plant trees.
- Plant flowers that feed the bees and birds.
- Hang bird feeders and water feeders, especially during summer months or droughts. Water those squirrels too, they plant trees.
- Learn ways to conserve water.
- Don’t waste food.
- Replace your lawn with a garden and share the food with elders and lower income families.
- Bring your own bags when you shop.
- Don’t buy plastic bottles. Either get a filter on the faucet or a Britta pitcher and use reusable bottles.
- Choose some charities you care about and become a member and donate monthly. Even $10 here and there helps.
- Help your neighbors, especially elders that may need help mowing a lawn or going shopping once a week.
- Adopt pets from shelters.
- Consider Foster care or adoption of children. Even overseas adoption.
- Consider planning your family and stopping at two or three children. We do have a population issue that also needs to be taken seriously.
- Try having a few vegetarian days a week or go vegetarian completely. This is sometimes very hard to adjust. Our family is down to a chicken a week and that is it but we do like meat, sadly.
- Get rid of a car and walk everywhere.
- Try to live, work, shop, and play locally. This will create an amazing community for you and your family.
- Homeschool and teach your children manners, integrity, and caring for others and the Earth.
- Volunteer a few hours a week.
- make your own house cleaners and laundry detergent that is green and clean for the environment.
These are just some brainstorming ideas. See what you come up with!
I did a self-created 40 day challenge a while back. Made all kinds of goals and came out a winner times 10! I find that short-term and intense challenges are the magic bullet for getting and staying motivated. We get so amped up for a goal and then we plod along like a horse and buggy on a Sunday drive and get bored from the beginning. But if you charge into the goal and immerse yourself mind, body, and soul and you make huge changes from the start…you just might reach the finish line.
We like seeing big results and fast don’t we? I do. I’ve been setting some challenges here and there and it improved my health and family life but it was the last one that I set for 40 days for the fun of it that resulted in huge changes. I made changes to the way we eat, save money, we purchased a fixer upper, I got into the habit of exercising daily, and many other things. I wrote about it. I won’t bore those of you that read it already.
The last couple months have been consumed with buying a new home, scrubbing, painting, renovating, packing, moving, more cleaning, unpacking, more renovating…
We are still at it. Just washed the windows the other evening and as the morning sun hit the glass this morning I see that I did a less than decent job. In my defense, these windows probably haven’t been washed in years and years and so I just smeared the dirt around in pretty swirls. I have a back door to paint and the old wood floors that need a little work. I have a big garden bed planted but need to get the other one filled and planted. Oh, and I need a clothes line. Other than that I have actually had time to start writing and thinking again.
I’m inspired to start a few challenges for the next 3 months. I’m choosing a bit longer for a challenge this time because the few things I want to accomplish, along with a few little things, will take about that much time to really get some results.
I would like to lose 30 pounds of this jiggly jelly (because jam don’t shake like that). I have no delusions of a bikini body, nor do I care. I have a husband that is pleased with my plump form and I’ve grown two babies in this sturdy body and nursed them both at my bosom. I just want to feel a bit lighter and have less weight on my frame. I have gained some weight with all the drive thru we ate while moving and working on this place and I have crossed that line of comfortably plump and having to wear my spouse’s jeans.
The other project I’d like to work on is the budget. I have encouraged Bali to take two days off a week. He has been working 6 days a week and 60 to 70 hours for years and years. We miss him and I feel like I’m raising a family alone. To my surprise, he changed his schedule the minute we moved into this house. I’m thrilled and it also means that we have $700 less coming in so a new and tight budget is in order.
I have one last project. My fictional books. I’m really lagging but as of yesterday and a day of much needed rest, I feel reinspired and am back at it. I have called my friend and editor and promise a rough draft next week just to keep me on task.
So, to sum it up: start losing weight and getting stronger. Create a working budget and get back into a frugal mode and grocery envelopes. To produce at least one fictional book this summer.
How will I achieve these goals?
For the diet, I find that a low carb way with tons of veggies, protein and fat works best. I can’t stand recording, weighing, counting, or thinking about the diet. I need to eat when I’m hungry and feel satisfied. I’m very active, still nursing, exercising, walking everywhere…I get HUNGRY! I can’t lose weight with sugar or starch or flour. Just can’t. So, I have to get into a mode of commitment to not having it at all. It’s an addiction and just like with all addictions, you have to set your mind, commit and never look back, never cheat, just keep looking forward at the goal. Eye on the prize.
I love to exercise and if that was where the 80% success came I’d be thin as a rail. I already do half an hour on the tread climber daily and every other day I do a weight strengthening routine from head to toe. I haven’t in weeks due to moving but I got on the tread climber yesterday and today so we are back!
I already wrote up a complete budget and cut out all the extras such as Netflix, Pureflix, and I reduced some of my donations. I won’t give up my donations but I cut some in half. I also cut out an insurance that was really just a rip-off and I got talked into. We have all sorts of the important insurances already. My internet, phone, cell…they are all reduced to the minimum and my cable is in a contract. Besides, I couldn’t get the antennae to work and we have to have some TV. I’m a little scared of the next water bill, that will need some improving I know.
I’ve started back on my book and I will work each morning with my coffee. I try to put in a couple hours of just devoted work. I have also set a date for completion to put the pressure on. Writing with some pressure is good, less time to think and criticise my work.
Ishmael is a novella about a girl heading down the wrong path and her relationship with her father that has gone sour over the years when a stranger arrives through odd circumstances. This stranger is going to change their lives for the better…
This is about real life and the world we know nothing about that works its magic in unseen ways.
Free all week. Enjoy.
Recently we purchased a home and moved. It required a lot of work and, though I had moved hundreds of times before, this move seemed the longest, most grueling and hard. We had far less stuff to move this time since we had downsized considerably over the years and I’m into decluttering and being organized. It was our first home and the thrill of that should have filled me with energy but instead, I was so wiped out through it all that I dragged myself through all my work as slow as a slug. I usually have so much energy and pep, I’m the queen of multi-tasking, a roosterette up before the neighbor’s rooster, stronger and more driven than some women half my age. What happened?
Then after our move, I did get more energy and started working from sun up to sun down with all our gardening and planting trees, scrubbing and decorating. But then one evening I was sitting on the front porch steps repotting geraniums and I started to feel like I was having a stroke (not really but the only description I have). I stood and stretched, I walked about, I lay on the bed and did some breathing. I got worried enough to think about a drive to the hospital. But first I needed to bath. Well, I smelled like manure and fish emulsion. I do have my pride even during a stroke. I got on the web for info on what did a stroke or heart attack feel like and all I got out of my research was to drink a glass of water. I did and lived to write this blog. Turns out I had esophageal spasms.
The next day I decided to celebrate my survival and our house and have a bar b q with friends to christen the place. I also decided to finish my garden beds. My husband was on FaceTime with family in India showing off the house and when I started to chase the boys around pretending to be a TRex, he started filming that. But then I bent down to get a ball and my back went out. I wound up rolling about on the driveway for all of India to see until I shouted at my husband to get off the phone. I had to roll myself into the shade so I wouldn’t fry on the pavement. After 5 visits to my new and fabulous Chiropractor, I am back to being busy.
Then the other day my littlest came down with a stomach bug and threw up for a few days. I thought I came down with the same thing the fourth day when I found I couldn’t rise from the bed all day. I felt like I had eaten a terrible meal and I was so exhausted that I slept or drifted in and out of being awake all day and night with a grannie blanket on me despite the 93-degree weather. I never threw up and the next day I woke up with all my old energy and pizzaz returned!
What was going on? I found this great book in my cupboard. A friend had some old books that she gave me and I took it thinking I’d never read it and now I can’t wait to get on the treadmill to educate myself on this topic of stress.
It turns out that even wonderful things can cause stress and after a while of good life changes or hard ones and that constant stress, our hormones become a mess and we grow listless and exhausted or start having ailments abound.
I’ve had a ton of change, huge change in the last 8 years. All great but stressful and completely unlike the first 38 years of my life. The first 38 years were hard due to a rough childhood with a mentally ill and alcoholic mother and then my own self-created hell with self-esteem issues and my addictions and poor choices.
Then my life did a 180 and I got sober, cleaned up my life completely, married a kind and patient man who refused drama to be a part of our household, rescued two dogs, got rid of three cats, had two sons, moved 4 times, bought our first home, took in a new cat, became a housewife after years of working 2 jobs at the same time, started a writing career, recently started a new diet and exercise regime….not all in that order but you see what’s happening here. I was exhausted with a capital E. When we moved in here my brain and body said, “we are done, lady! This has been a crazy 8 years for the love of the Lord!! Give us a break will you?!”
So, what causes stress?
- moving, new town, first time home purchase.
- new child. A child leaving the nest.
- career or job change.
- going back to college.
- being fired, laid off.
- not enough money/debt.
- poor diet. Not enough exercise.
- family relations.
- bad marriage.
- bad job.
The list goes on. The good, the bad. Basically, change and fear, poor habits, not enough sleep or working in a job that is too demanding or you just despise.
What can be done about all this stress?
- changing our attitude and mindset around life, work, family.
- changing what we can.
- taking up a daily exercise.
- eating healthy and nutritious food.
- stay away from sugar and processed food.
- be sober, get sober, stay sober. Drugs, booze leads to misery, poverty, depression, and poor health.
- find a spiritual practice.
- unplug from all the media, Iphones, FaceBook, and Twitter.
- be out in nature.
- take up meditation.
- get involved in a community activity that is fun and you make healthy friends.
- volunteering. Helping others takes us out of our misery.
- listen to upbeat and positive music.
- read positive and inspiring books.
- watch positive and inspiring movies.
- re-brainwash yourself to think joyful, positive, and upbeat thoughts.
- build a relationship with God. He will give you all the support and provision you will ever need.
- take up hobbies such as knitting, painting, things that you focus and create.
- change your job.
- go back to school.
- quit the job and become a housewife or stay at home mother.
- follow your heart and dreams.
- simplify your life.
- don’t worry about the world. God has it all figured out. Do what you can and go on and enjoy your world.
I have taken it down a few notches with the military style work mode. I sleep in a bit with my children. I am back to work on my fictional books that have been waiting patiently for me to finish their stories. I color with my 3 year old and I am adding hours of play, reading, and fun to the day. Life is too short and I have to be reminded of this.
I grew up without a childhood and work was rewarded and play was reprimanded. It wasn’t approved of to laugh too much or have fun. I’m relearning my life, that I don’t have to have these work and cleaning schedules, that I live in a world where play is a must. I am playing with more legos and I have grown up coloring books that I purchased at the crafts store with some vibrant pens. I just ordered a pile of Amish fiction that I haven’t read in years. I’m on that tread climber daily again and doing body strengthening for my back. I have the treadmill in our detached garage out back and with the door open I can read and watch the boys play outside. I love that time. Ah, I can breathe again. The floors can wait, it’s ok to have some dishes in the sink during the day…
I’ve recently moved to my very first home that my family and I bought and own. It’s been a production of work, moving, settling in, meeting neighbors, hanging paintings, planting trees, joining homeschool groups, and a million other task both fun and exhausting.
And now we are getting to the part where I have to put the drill and shovel down and get back to my mini-career of writing. I have a book half finished, a book or two started and an editor that is getting tired of waiting on me.
But I find so many things that just must get done each day before I can sit down and write! Right?
I had every writer’s fear when moving to this new home, “will I be able to write there?” I did some major writing work at the old house we just moved from. When we moved in and once we were settled in and had toured our surrounding area, I sat down one day and this inspiration came out of me that I had only felt a couple times in the past. And it never left. I wrote book after book after book and then I challenged myself with fiction and did a few of those books. I started blogging a year ago this month and, though I was not into the idea, I grew to love it. Mostly to fill in the lonelies and be able to share with others when I had no adult to converse with.
Now I’m here and I had some fear around being inspired but then I remembered that I need to settle in first, navigate my new land second and then, and only then can I sit and write again. I also realized by the second or third night that, yes, I would be inspired here. But my writing will take a different course now. It has changed so much over the two years and now I’m focused on fiction. I have a feeling I will be inspired to write many good stories here.
This house is old and has a wonderful energy. It’s been through a lot and survived. It’s been abandoned for years and kept itself together where other homes would have fallen apart. It is so grateful and joyous to have us here filling it with baking, chitter chatter, drama, coffee brewing, laughing, and constant work and cleaning. We have filled its yards with roses, plants, trees, and gardens and we have painted it with delightful colors and fixed all its broken parts. We have soothed it, washed it, thanked it and we have grown in skills and patience, pride and thrift.
I believe that it will support me in my journey toward the written make believe. And my neighbors alone have given me food for thought. There are some stories right there.
Then the next morning as if in response and answer to my question of being able to thrive in my new career of fictional writing, the old house gave me a gift.
I had plugged in my speakers to my laptop and started up Pandora. I hadn’t listened to my online station since moving. I had an old radio I listened to for the last 3 weeks. I have all sorts of Christian gospel and contemporary, country, Indian, and Disney on there. I have tons of stations but these are the ones I have on shuffle right now. But on this particular morning, Pandora played a long list of show tunes, old musicals, and music from old movies. I had to check to see if I was even on shuffle and what station it was coming from. I hadn’t heard any of these songs ever! Then I looked up some of the musicals and found that many were from the 1950’s! Was it the old house playing some choices for me? Who knows. I believe old houses have souls. How could they not? With all the people that have lived in them.
What is even more bizarre is that I’ve never heard the songs again since that morning. My Pandora is back to its old list. So, there is my answer. I think my writing career will be supported just fine.