Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The last two days have been nice. My younger brother and his wife and 2 little girls came over Sunday to visit. It was nice, but around 1:00 I just hit the wall. I just got up and climbed in bed and slept VERY hard for 2 hours. Never heard the little girls! Yesterday was a bit better. I am slowly getting into the swing here. I am glad I came early so I could recoup before the onslaught of people hit.

My neices are just precious. They are sweet, shy and adorable. Well, see for yourself! They are night and day. The oldest looks just like her mother and her side of the family. The younger one looks just like me and my brother. They are both beautiful!
I have enjoyed my time with my parents. We shopped and hung out yesterday. Mom and I watched The Great Debaters. Awesome movie. Then we went to the theatre to see The Secret Lives of Bees. OMG! If you haven't read the book, see the movie. It is inspiring!!!
Today we have done some cleaning up and are getting ready go pick up Mr. M, Buddy, and Missy. I can't wait for my parents to see them. Unfortunately, my parents haven't seen my kids in 2 years!! It will be quite the surprise!!!
Till next time,
Mrs. M

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I may have had one of my most enjoyable flying experiences ever yesterday. I am currently at my parents' house. But yesterday, waiting on my first plane, I ran into one of my friends who is a baseball mom. Her daughter, Elizabeth, was with her and E used to have a HUGE crush on buddy! She is only 6 years younger than him!! :-) Anyway, it turned out that the first leg of our trip was together on the same plane. So they saved me a seat and I joined them. It was so nice. We chatted the whole way and caught up entirely by the time the plane landed. Along the way, I had met a nice family that was also travelling to my final destination. She was a knitter as well and we got to talking about knitting. So the second part of my trip I shared my Sensational Knitted Socks book with her. I sat next to an older couple couple and they were really sweet, but unfortunately she sat on my right and so I had to be careful with my arm while knitting. So I had to get up repeatedly to stretch my shoulder. (My PT will be so proud to know that I did his exercises up in the air!!!) The last leg of my trip I sat next to twins who were college students. They were fun to talk to. They don't room together, so they were catching up with each other as well. Their enthusiasm was contagious. They were so excited to be coming home!

So the time seemed to fly until I landed the last time. Then it all caught up with me and I just wanted to eat and crawl into bed. But over the last two years my dad has become an even worse driver (who knew that was even remotely possible), so I drove an hour to get us home. It is nice to be here. Nice to see them. Have a feeling you will be hearing more about my family later. When the sun comes up here (I'm still on my time) I will take pics of my socks I worked on yesterday!

Note to Commenters

I need to apologize for not responding personaly to your comments. For some reason, my computer is not letting click on your email link. Some time back, I actually lost several emails so I don't have your personal one either. So I apologize. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and to comment. I know it takes a little more time to do so and I appreciate it.

Mrs. M

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Letter to my Mom

Dear Mom,

I realize you probably wish you could have gotten this letter 25-30 years ago, but I wasn't ready then. Only now do I fully comprehend the full extent of the pain I caused. So I hope the saying is true, "Better late than never."

I am sorry for the eye rolling. I am sorry for the huffing and puffing, the door slamming, the words of impatience. I am sorry for making you feel like your were stupid and "uncool". I am sorry for the time I wasted when we could have been bonding even more. I am sorry for the times when I made you dread even being around me. I am sorry for the pain I caused.

I know that you realized back then that this was part of growing up. That during our teens we begin to separate ourselves from our parents and forge our own identities. You knew that none of those actions were really personal, they were just my own clumsy way of showing you I could stand on my own two feet. I know, you know.

I still feel the need to apologize for the pain it caused. You were always so patient, and rarely lost your cool with me. You seemed to just accept this stage as you had all the others. Maybe it helped that you had little bro at home giving you lots of love still. I don't know. I do know one thing. I love you and am thankful you are my mom and my example of how to mother my teenage daughter. (but seriously, how did you keep from killing me? Cause some days.........)

Thank you, Mom. I love you and always will.

Till next time,
Mrs. M.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I sit in lots of waiting rooms. When you are chronically ill, that is a part of life. Plus I have 2 children. So, yea, I have seen lots of waiting rooms. In the pediatrician's office, you often end up talking to other parents and comparing illnesses or birth stories. You leave having been encouraged by another parent or having encouraged someone else. In general practitioner's offices, it is a bit more dicey. You never know if you should speak to the people around you or not. But in most cases it is still okay. You make eye contact with someone, or you have to sit right next to them, or they have a book you love in their lap, great conversation starters. Since I knit, I am often talked to. People want to know what I am making, or tell me about their knitting or their grandmother's knitting. Small children find it intriguing and even teens sneak peeks.

There is one waiting room where no one has EVER spoken to me or made eye contact for that matter. It is the waiting room for my daughter's therapist. That room is silent (except for the radio). Everyone shuffles in being careful to only raise their eyes up enough to prevent crashing into furniture. They quickly take a seat, and pick up a magazine. As I knit, I look around and never once has anyone returned the look. Most of the people are there weekly as I am. So we share a space for 4 hours a month and never once speak.

Today, that made me ponder why? Even in the waiting room at the hospital where parents are worried, scared, nervous, there is some chatter. We ask what are they here for? We share what why we are here and even our fears.

So, my question is, we share what ails are children physically, but not psychologically. Why?
Well, I think it stems from parental guilt. We feel we have somehow failed because our child needs help that we can't give. It is somehow our fault that our child's emotional being is not well. It is our fault that our child has an eating disorder. Basically, as far as we have come in our thoughts about mental health, we haven't come far enough. No wonder our children hide their pain. They don't want to be the "weird" one that they see portrayed on TV. They just want to be "normal", whatever that is.

It is also from our sense of privacy. I don't want to be telling my kid's secrets. That is her story. But often sitting there the pain radiates off the parent as they wait for their child. I wonder, wouldn't it feel good to talk? To say, "oh, I've been there" or "it will get better"? Wouldn't it be nice to know we are not alone? My guess is that few parents actually share with their friends what is going on. So the child is alone, and so is the parent. How tough, how huge a burden that is to carry alone.

So the secrecy continues, the shame abounds, and our culture is still far behind where it should be. Let us find ways to share the truth, assuage the guilt and further our culture.

Till next time,
Mrs. M

Fall Leaves

Yesterday didn't exactly turn out as I had planned. And if I am honest, that happens a lot. But having a plan, and knowing what needs to be done in a week, still helps me. I have learned not to get so wrapped up in my schedule or plans that I can't be spontaneous or go with the flow. I usually accomplish all the tasks for the week by Friday, except when illness creeps up. So what did I do yesterday? Well, it is COLD here today and yesterday was warmer (60's) so I chose to blow the leaves in my yard. For those of you who live in the desert or Texas and don't know what I am talking about, I have photos. Now, this is a time consuming, exhausting endeavor. I spent 4 hours yesterday just getting the front yard done.

I blew part of the leaves around the plantings in my yard, in the natural areas.

These are the leaves in front of my house waiting for the truck to come along and suck em all up! To give you some perspective, the piles are 2 feet high (to my knees) and that is about 20 ft. long. But wait, here is the kicker........
That tree is still full of leaves!!! I am telling you, this is a HUGE endeavor! I LOVE trees, but I hate their leaves!!!!
I also did a little thrift shopping. I was out.....so I decided to shop a little. I got a great little organizer that I will try to share later.
So, I am off to finish Monday's tasks so I can get on with today's!!
Till next time,
Mrs. M

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Monday, Where is your broom?

Mondays are big days around here. This is the day I organize for the week. I clean the house according to the Flylady method, I plan my meals, I look forward to my week and plan my errands and so forth. So it is vital that I get moving on Mondays. So follow me as I go through my day:

1. Pick up the downstairs and place all children's items on the stairs to be taken up by them later. (or so I dream!!!)

2. Clean kitchen (I absolutely HATE doing this. I know it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but I cannot stand it!!!)

3. Dust (this I don't mind, I use a feather duster 3 of the 4 weeks of the month, so it is quick and fun)

4. Change Sheets (I love clean, crisp sheets, so this is always a joy!!!)

5. Put sheets and towels in washer (laundry, eh, the getting off task thing really affects my efficiency in this department)

6. Vacuum (love seeing the immediate clean, plus with dog hair??? UGH!!)

7. Sit down to plan menu - (not my favorite, but working on it.)

8. Sit down to check calendar and put events on big calendar

9. Put washing in the dryer.

10. Go to physical therapy!!!! (I will be so glad when this is no longer on my list for Mondays)

This is a photo of my new system. It is a dry erase board that is actually 4 parts. So I can use it as a whole month, or as I do, I have 2 weeks of dates up there, then on one section I write my menu and the 4th section I use to remind me of what needs to be done that day (trash, bake bread, vacuum hardwoods, etc.) This helps me to stay focused. I have a tendency to get off task and this helps me refocus and make sure what needs to get done, gets done.

Okay, so on to Menu Planning Monday:

Monday: Spaghetti


Tuesday: "Chicken" breast (Quorn)

Roasted potatoes

Green Beans

Wednesday: Eat at church

Thursday: Chili

Friday: Quesadillas


Saturday: On their own (I'm gone)

Sunday: On their own (I'm gone)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Feed My Soul Sunday

The following things/people/events feed my soul on this day:

- beautiful fall leaves

- sun shining in full force

- three little words "I love you" especially from my teen!

- watching the twins and Missy walk down the aisle at Target holding hands and laughing

- seeing the pride in my son as he describes his performance at a college baseball camp

- listening to the early morning quiet of my home knowing all my "chickadees" are here and well

- anticipation of a trip

- reconnecting with old friends, especially the one who is and forever will be my soul sister.

- seeing the love and desire in my hubby's eyes

- watching the bounce in Mr. M's step after losing 60 pounds!!!!!

What feeds your soul on this day? Please share.

Till next time,
Mrs. M

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In the Driver's Seat

The day arrived. Buddy took the driving test and passed. We came home and needed to go pick up Missy. He asked to do it. I said okay. I gave the directions and handed him the keys, all on auto pilot. Then as he pulled out of the driveway, I woke up. As the car pulled around the curve and out of sight, his life passed before my eyes.

The first time I felt him move in my tummy. My first sight of him. Reading to him at night as he laughed and read along. The twinkle that lit up his eyes. The dimples in his cheeks. Him standing in the window by the door waiting for me to get home. His running and jumping in my arms yelling, "Mommy, Mommy!" Those chubby arms squeezing my neck. Holding his limp body as he struggled to stay with us. Throwing baseball after baseball to him out in the yard. Watching he and Jack play a game that ALWAYS involved a ball. Him holding hands with little girls who were hurt, or sad and trying to make them feel better. Him going to school for the first time. Him taking a deep breath and walking out on the baseball field scared of failure. Watching him succeed time after time on the baseball field. Him making lifelong friends with all kinds of people. Him even playing with Missy and including her, urging her to take risks.

The tight grip I had (or thought I had) of his life, was no longer there. I had to ease up along the way, and now, I was letting go a bit more. It was the hardest thing I have done. But I will not parent out of fear. I will parent out of trust. Trust in my parenting, trust in my son, and trust in the Creator who gave Buddy to me and has him in her arms!

Till next time,
Mrs. M.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away....

It is raining here. It was drizzly yesterday. And my body is not happy. I spent most of yesterday in my chair staring at the tv. For some reason, my Crohn's flared up yesterday morning and left me drained for the rest of the day. I feel better today, but dreary. At least Mr. M is home and I won't be alone. Maybe we will even go to a movie. Missy is have 2 friends sleep over. It should be fun. They are such sweet girls!!

That is really all I have today. Short, sweet and to the point.

Till next time,
Mrs. M

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who Knew?

I could get such a thrill over saving money? It is such a high for me. It makes me feel like I really am providing for my family in my way! So on to my latest victory!

Super K-Mart here is having Double Dollar Deals. This means they will double your $1 to $2 coupons! Yes! That means for the $2 off coupon it becomes $4!!!!!! So here is what I did yesterday:

Item Price My price (after coupons)
Dove Bodywash - $4.79 - 1.79
Mascara - $4.49 -1.49
Mascara - $4.49 - 1.49
Olay bars - 9.98 (for 2) - 1.98
Nail Polish - 2.49 - free
Nail Polish - 2.49 - free
Soleil razor - $5.49 - 1.49
Soleil refills - $4.49 - .49
Lip balm - 2.49 - free
Dove shampoo - $3.79 - .79
Dove conditioner - $3.79 - .79
2 Baby Aspirin - $4.78 - .78
Tylenol Sinus - $5.99 - 1.99
Tylenol Allergy - $5.99 - 1.99
Tylenol - $5.49 - 3.49
Tylenol - $5.99 - 3.99
Sudafed - $5.99 - 3.99
Nyquil - $5.99 - 2.99
Pert - $3.49 - free
Special K cereal - $3.19 - 1.19
Frosted Flakes - $4.99 - 2.99
Rice Krispies - $3.59 - 1.59

(I did the best I could above, don't go checking me exactly!!!)
Total - $110.00 (this is the value)
OOP - $42.12 (this is what I paid Out of Pocket)

WOW!!!! That is a savings of 60%!! Plus, I need to stock up on those things now that winter is approaching! Now you see what I mean? Exciting stuff, huh?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My First Love

ORGANIZATION!!! I really like to be organized. No back up.....I LOVE to be organized. When someone says "Mom/Honey where is......" I LOVE to be able to go straight to it and put my hands on it or better yet tell them where to go. Ha! (sometimes I wouldn't mind telling them EXACTLY where to go.....I do have teenagers ya know!!)
Evidently I was this way from birth. My mom says that as early as 2 or 3 she would put me to bed in a messy room and come back to check on me later and the room would be cleaned up. I would say that I couldn't sleep in a messy room. I wouldn't go that far now....but I do like to work in an organized space. As Mr. M would attest, our bedroom is far from neat all the time. But underneath, there is a system of organization. Everything has a place.....we just don't always put it back there! (wish I could wriggle my nose like Tabitha did and everything would magically fly into place.) The equivalent off wriggling my nose, is me getting in there and organizing it. From time to time things must be reorganized. Sometimes the old system just doesn't work. That is what brings me to today's post.

I have 2 areas right now that are in need of reorganization. Okay, shut up! I know they don't look like there was a first organization, there was, when we moved in 9 years ago! Are you done laughing yet? Let's move on.

The first area is the cabinet above where I do my baking (like I have a big kitchen with places designated for all my different activities...okay wake up!). Back to the cabinet. It holds measuring utensils, mixing bowls, cutting boards, mixes, etc. Here is what it currently looks like:

Here is a closer shot of the bottom right:

This final shot is a close up in the next cabinet over, but is still baking stuff. Mainly decorating stuff, not stuff that is used everyday.

This will take maybe 30 minutes or an hour at best. The biggest chore is figuring out the best solution without having to purchase new containers. (don't get me started on containers....I love containers.....I lust after containers.........)

The second project is a bit more involved. It is the laundry room....okay closet! I have done NOTHING to this closet except replace the dryer. So, 9 years of lint? UGH!!! Makes me gag to think about. But I have a great friend who is butch enough to be good with power tools. She just redid her laundry closet and it sounds VERY much like what I have in my head. So I will go check hers out and start making plans. I need more storage space. When you coupon and stockpile, you have to have space to put everything! So I envision wide wooden shelves. Maybe bright red walls? Or bright yellow? Something that says, "Laundry is not your enemy!" :-) What color would that be? Any ideas? Okay, on with the photos:

I think you get the gist. As you can see, there are several items sitting on the dryer waiting for a place on a shelf. This room does not invite me!! Since laundry is my least favorite chore, I need to be invited!!! Okay, some of you are probably wondering what is the sign on top of the washer. Well, it is from Mr. M! Surprised, aren't you? Here is what it says:
1. Do not wash anything but a full load.
2. If you have less than a full load, get dirty clothes from other family members.
3. Do not wash the same clothes repeatedly, wear all your clothes before washing.
4. Do not start laundry after 10:00 p.m. Some people sleep 6 ft. from the washer.
5. Do not use the dryer to "iron" clothes.
6. The environment and our bank account thank you for following these simple guidelines.
-The Management
He has such a sense of humor!!!! Has the sign done any good? Well, yea. Mainly because it came from Dad and not MOM!!!!
I am going to leave this topic for now. I have some other shots of organizing tools that have helped me, but I will save those for another day. This post is already too long! Stayed tune to see the progress!
Till next time,
Mrs. M

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My religious journey ~GASP~

So, I took the plunge. I went out on a limb. I risked it all. You are probably asking yourself, "What the hell is she talking about?" Well, I sent the link to this blog to some friends. Some of these friends are blog buddies, some old knitting pals, and many are friends from my past with whom I have reconnected. I figure, they would like to know what I am up to now, so what better way to follow my life, but through my blog!

So the question remains, what is the big risk? Well, I have taken a much different path than the one most of my high school and college friends did. I was on that path with them physically but never fully spiritually. You know what I mean? I was constantly questioning things inside my head. NEVER out loud. NO, I was raised to believe, not question. And I was a good girl! When I got to college, I had a professor who asked questions too. The cool thing was, he didn't always give you the answers. He felt it important for each student to look in their own heart for their answers. WOW!! So that was the beginning. Then I met Jack and we went to seminary. We searched for a church for some time. We had a hard time finding one that felt "right". Jack was beginning to question some of the fundamentals of his faith as well. We finally hit upon Broadway Baptist church thanks to INGS (who btw were on the same journey as us). In the first worship I let a long sigh, I was home. It was high, formal church, it was amazing! I relaxed and truly worshipped for the first time in my life! My soul was fed beyond belief. The social ministries there answered many of the questions my heart had kept asking.

So I continued on that journey. I kept asking questions. We kept moving and going to different churches and having different experiences. Along the way there have been many bumps. I usually stop at these bumps look around, listen to the old tapes in my head from my childhood, talk to those I trust and either change some things, or keep going with the faith I have. Do I believe in God? Oh yea! Do I believe in Jesus? Sure! Do I believe the Bible is the exact word of God? No. This is where I lose some of you, I know. But that is okay. At least it is okay with me. I have a faith in God that picks me up, holds me, sustains me, challenges me. That is what it is about for me. Your faith is yours. I don't need to agree with you to love you. In fact, I want people to have the kind of faith that allows them to be their best.

So, I am out of the closet, so to speak!! :-) (yes, I believe gays are okay!) I am me. I laugh out loud just as before. I still don't get jokes. I am still quite quirky. I am still gullible, but maybe not as much. I still cry at movies. I still love to read. I am me. I love my God and I am serving her to my best ability.

So, if after reading this I haven't scared you away, welcome to my new blog. Pull up a chair, pour a cuppa joe and share my life with me. (if you have a blog, share with me! I love to read!)

Till next time,
Mrs. M

Monday, November 10, 2008

Triple coupons!

Harris Teeter (a local grocery chain) had triple coupons last weekend. This is a time where you can really stock up on groceries and toiletries. This is a shot of what all I got!

This is $304.18 of food. I paid $136.15! Not my BEST but pretty dang good. The most important thing is that I REALLY NEEDED many of these items. Plus bread and wheat flour was on sale, so even though I didn't have coupons, I bought those. I have seen on many blogs where they go through and tell you everything they bought and the savings. I will have to think about that and whether that is something I am interested in pursuing. Stay tuned.

I am considering changing my coupon system. I have been using the binder method, but it is bulky and not so easy to handle when my arthritis is flaring. PLUS, it is too big to carry around, just in case! So I am considering moving to a new system. I have seen two options. The first one I saw at Richelle's Reflections. Go over there and check that out. I think that may be what I try next. Mainly because I don't have to buy anything. :-)

The second method is called the Couponizer. Go over there and look at that one. Choices, choices. But like I said, I will probably start with the first one since I don't have to buy anything. I will update you when I get it all together and show you my photos.

Well, I was going to give you a preview to my week via photos but all of a sudden my camera went out. I am hoping it just needs to charge, or needs a new battery!!! Well, you will just have to wait!

Till tomorrow,

Mrs. M

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wow! Cool format

I absolutely love my new look on my blog!!! I found The Cutest Blog on the Block over at A Life at Home. It didn't really take that long and bam! New look for my new blog!

I have several genres of blogs that I read. The first category is Various Blogs. This includes my organizing blogs, friends' blogs, and Rosie's blog. Then I have my knitting blogs, my vegetarian blogs, and my frugal blogs. (A Life at Home is one of my frugal blogs) This is why I wanted to start anew and incorporate all of my sides into one blog.

I hope that some of my friends start coming over to see the new digs. I need to start commenting on their blogs and let them know there is a new address.

I will have to post tomorrow about my savings and I have a photo! I didn't get to my organization yet either, so that is something to look forward to as well.

till tomorrow,
Mrs. M

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My first entry

I have blogged for a few years at another site. But the site got too many visitors from my area and specifically from my church, so I had to quit. Mr. M is a pastor and thus what I say can have an impact on him. So this go around I am trying to be as discreet as possible.

I am so excited about the election. At least now I don't have to make plans to move. I think buddy and missy would have hated moving anyway. Well and of course the cold and dark. Yea, I'm really glad Obama won. I have to admit the thought of Sarah Palin in the White House scared me on soooo many levels. Oh well. Enough politics. This is not a political blog.

I am started back into my knitting. You will hear lots about this and probably see lots of photos!! I finished missy's friend's socks. Now for the second pair (they are twins). Hopefully it will go fast!! I had to take some time off for shoulder surgery and healing.

Tomorrow is triple coupons at Harris Teeter. I am psyched!!! I MUST get my coupons organized though!! Hopefully lots of deals will be posted here!!

And finally my last project is organizing the laundry room and the cabinets above the baking/cooking area. Maybe some photos of that as well.

Until tomorrow....