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Home by Gina Rydin

Home, the question was, what do I think of when The word “Home” is mentioned.

It is not just a place to download.  I feel very at home when I am home.  Although there is alot I am interested in seeing and doing, I am still eager to get home.  Would you call me a homebody?

Some people are never home.  This is unsettling for most, life’s responsibilities keeps their time an energy consumed.  Yet, some do additional running from home with their children’s recreational activities.  Not only is additional money swallowed up, but time is swallowed up.  It is hard on the marriage, the budget and puts pressure on the children.  All this running, no one knows how to just relax.

Another form of running that interpheres with the good feelings that go with home is not planning errands well.  Some are bolting out the door for milk today, an toilet paper tomorrow, an food for dinner the next night.  Wasting time, money and fuel.  A state of unrest goes with always running out the door.

One time savor is using your cell phone an making a note that you will be needing orange juice, an goods for dinner tomorrow.  Your not out of orange juice, but it is near out.  After work you can pick up the couple things.  Then you can stay home.  Then you can have another list for payday, need pkg of tp, frozen goods, canned goods. An etc.  Your not out of anything an you do not have to be.

Although the purpose of being home is not so a person can be involved with their cell phone, computer, television or games for hours.

To be home is to live, be productive, relax, learn something new, play board games or cards with loved ones.  Tonight my husband an I had great conversation while playing cards.  I was able to share a draft of a short story I am writing.  He liked it and that was very stimulating for me to continue on.  The story has life to it.  Whether you are a family of one or a few, home can be a place of restoration, inspiration and peace.

Making time to focus on something else, to learn, inspires joy.  We have a family Bible study each week.  Learning together and hearing personal expressions of each brings a closeness and intimacy most long for.

Of course I feel hobbies enrich my life.  I am a person whom due to physical disabilities that require me to be home most the time.  Sewing, painting, writing, knitting while I still strive to practice an effective domestic routine.  Domestically, I can easily feel like a failure.  Today for instance, I have been elevating my right leg due to complications with my rt. ankle.  The lower fibia where the tendon an ligaments attach was injured last winter. There are still problems. There was so much I planned to do today.  I had Monday’s domestic work layed out, and some other things I wanted to do.

The fever in my right ankle and the swelling required priority care.  So elevated and iced was the routine today.  My face was wet with tears much of the day due to the discouragement of the situation.  Finally, being that I did not feel I could sew or do my domestics, I decided to put my words to paper of the story I have been writing in my head.  It flowed so beautifully.  Not bad for a first draft.  My mind is still writing it.  I will let you know when it is done.  Funny thing is, the story is also about HOME.

I like being here and people like coming here.  It is not perfectly organized, but the dishes are done, and the bathrooms are clean.  I like home, it is where I am, what I am, what I do, and whom I include.

Do you like being HOME?  What can you do to improve your home life?  Can you create a Life at home, so when you are there you are replenished?

Think about what home means to you.  Are there simple adjustments you can make that can improve your homelife?

 

 

 

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December, the Month to Wrap it all up.

December, This is the month to think about what did we want to accomplish this last year of 2015, and what can we still do in 31 days.  Unfortunately, there are only four weekends, yet technically five weeks before the new year.

December is not always a joyful month as the sentimental pressure misguides many.  Many create debts on supposed deals, and the problems created are felt months into the new year.  Approaching this month thoughtfully and cautiously can be very freeing.

It is a good time to think about next years goals, monthly, quarterly, seasonable, 1/2 time such as June/July, and end of year accomplishments.  The master lists for the year and all these time periods can be a great guide to refer to so as to reach your goals.  I depend on them.  Is it the day planner or what system that promotes the Master list Theory?  I did not invent it and I may not even have the right words for describing it.  Years ago I learned it from one of those famous planners.  A business tool that can be used in our personal life for greater accomplishment.  Praying about them, looking at them, and working toward their accomplishment makes you feel a little more control in your life.  Living haphazardly has few rewards.

Are there debts you want to pay down?  Are there vacations you want to save for?  Are there physical exams that need to be scheduled?  Have you neglected family members that do not live near you, can you plan to see them or invite them?

If there are school age children at home, school vacations and winter days off, all can be involved in deep cleaning, changing rooms around, assessing clothes in closets and drawers.  Children keep growing and I know you do not need reminding.  If you have a grandchild, niece or nephew in school why not ask the parent if you can take the child shopping for shoes or clothes that will invest in the young persons new growth.  It will help the family with their tight budget to help with these practical needs.  Getting the kids hair cut, new socks and essentials, new school clothes and replenishing their school supplies can be a help to the family.  Being respectful of the parents standards of attire is important.  Then it is a real blessing.

This month is a great time to change things up for your kids.  Remember, the school load of homework, and chores at home can be enough responsibilities for the kids.  Extracurricular activities can burden the parent whom is running the children around, as well as burden the budget.  If the activities are decided on, keep them to a minimum, and remember, you are the adult.  Too many let their children decide on matters.  A lot of children are exhausted with all the homework, activities and long days.  They miss out on helping with chores, keeping good habits, just having good times playing in the yard.  We have been teaching a young girl age 12 how to knit, and her grandma is now teaching her to crochet.   If we can help others with their situation then that is a gift.

Getting the car serviced or deep cleaned is a great gift to self or a family member.  Check the tires, and getting a detailed cleaning on the car when you have a day off is refreshing.

This is the month for wrapping it up for me so I can start 2016 a little less burdened.  I have so many projects that are near done that have been weighing heavy on my mind instead of the satisfaction I should be feeling.  I am just going to pick up a “Near Done”, and finish it.  If you have read my previous articles, then you are aware this is an ongoing challenge for me.

My Aunt Ellie was so kind.  I had written her a letter and told her about how I get aggravated with the piles or clutter I create with all the projects.  She basically said there are people with no clutter and no projects, and their mindset is different than those of us with the creative mind.  We do things, we need the material etc. to do the projects and that is going to create some clutter.  That is very reasonable.

My husband married a writer, painter, photographer, knitter, cook, etc. so there seems to be all the matter around to support those activities.

Good News!  We have been getting some house maintenance issues attended to.  It feels great seeing things get done.  The addition needed painted and a friend new to the area needed a small job.  To the dismay of my mother-in-law, I chose the lightest of tan for the siding, and true red for the trim.  It looks wonderful, although it is only the first coat.

Brock, our 23 year old son has painted and stained the steps and railing.  When I chose terracotta red for the risers, pecan stain for the treads and a cool white with a hue that complements the reddish tones everyone was concerned about the outcome.  They all thought I should stick with the standard of stain it all or use the white on the risers.  It really looks so inviting and tasteful.  Being that the floors are all terracotta, our eyes follow the color right up the stairs.  A visual treat.  It would be nice to have the exterior finished and our minds unburdened.  That is one thing to finish up this month.

Unable to do these things myself, I kept putting them off hoping I would get well enough to do them.  It has become a help that I have accepted that I will not be capable of doing this work on the house and am hiring it out.  This is giving me much relief.

It would be unreal if I did not mention that in this world there are people whom are suffering due to circumstances out of their control.  If there is a family member, workmate, or neighbor that is dealing with illness, caregiver responsibilities, loneliness, hardship, tragedy or loss can we do more than just give them a passing thought?  Besides taking a few moments to say a meaningful prayer for them, is there some practical thing we can do to make their load a little lighter?  Send a card, make a meal, call the power company and pay their bill for the month, call them, give a hug, or offer to spend time with them.  In this age of selfies and instant communication it seems people have lost touch.  Touch someone’s life in a practical way.  If someone has been kind to you, send them a card and thank them.  A text is a bit tacky when someone takes the time to do something kind for you.  Making a card or buying one is a worthy way to express appreciation.  There are still post offices in most towns, and they sell stamps, let us support our post offices by sending a little love and kindness in the mail.  Snail mail is a misnomer.  Mail processes quick enough to delight the person that is surprised when they open the mail box.

Using our next few weeks wisely can enrich our lives as we step into the new year with optimism and joy.

 

 

 

 

November Has Arrived

Overniight, we have gone back in time, and moved into another month.    Whom says the days are shorter,  If our days are shorter, how can we make more of our time?  We may have gained an hour.

There are four ways we can get more of our time.  If we are depressed or discouraged about darkness descending on our day earlier we must come up with an alternate routine.

1.  During this time change why not go to bed an hour earlier, and get up an hour earlier.  What can a person do with an extra hour in the weee mornin’ hours?  An exercize plan can be easily achieved with the extra time.  Domestics, chores, laundry, can be managed more efficiently when done earlier in the day when working an established period of time.  It makes the feeling of accomplishment and optimism a  more common occurrence.

2.  Getting ahead on paperwork, taxes, etc. is great evening work.  Put some good classical music on and organize your paperwork.   So many put off paperwork and get extensions when this last quarter is a great time to get a jump on it.

3.  Free classes online are offered in as many fields as you can imagine. These long nights are a tremendous opportunity to learn more in your field or another.  If you have been interested in a particular subject and have not had the time, now is the time.  I saw a class from Yale on architectural history, and one from Harvard offering Drawing lessons.  You can learn more in the career you practice or you can learn what you need to change careers.

4.  Do not put off your creativity any longer.  Are there projects you have been needing to finish?   Give yourself a couple weeks to work on some of these cast asides and clear them off your to do list.  You will quickley discover why you invested in the material you purchased and the time you already have put into the projects.   Have you wanted to learn a new hobby or craft?  There are many instructive videos online.  Painting, sewing, writing, woodwork, Bible study, and knitting are all activities that are productive and inspiring.  Many are learning hobbies and crafts to enrich their life.   The winter months make it possible to have an evening a week to spend at the local library.   Most Libraries have  activities and social events scheduled, look them up online and see what you might enjoy.

If you have been yearning to get something done or you have put off learning something new, these longer nights or early mornings are a great way to get more done while ending the year with a sense of fulfillment.

Parenting is more than a juggling act. .. and why?

Imagine yourself not just juggling four oranges, but plates are being tossed in for you to juggle too, and you gottta be so careful, you do not want it all to go to pieces with one plate dropped.

Don’t we put ourselves under that kind of pressure.  We want to be a great parent.  We expect so much of ourselves and our children that we miss out on living our life too.  The responsibilities and obligations that comes with parenting are enough.  Society puts pressure on the kids and the parents that kids need to be involved in all these clubs, sports, music, and maintaining a high gpa.  What will these kids be like when they are grown, will they know how to enjoy a quiet evening at home?  Will they know how to relax?  I am not talking about playing videogames or watching endless hours on the television in their room.

Can they do a good job without it having to be the number one spot?  Parents do not have time or energy to be married couples, and children do not have the time to relax and enjoy being a youth.  Fishing, skateboarding, building things, or making model cars, or rebuilding their bicycle or working on their car.

When raising our three sons, I had them taking piano in the winter and golf in the spring and summer with swimming.  Just one activity all were participating in.  I just did not feel capable of running them around all the time while carrying out my other obligations of work, domestics and ill health.  Saturday mornings every couple weeks we would do the Home Depot children’s shop where they made a different project each time.  As grown men, they know how to do many things and earn money doing these things.  My middle son lives in a tree house he designed and built, and he installed an elevator, and recently he used decks he was paid to remove from someone’s home, he used these decks very creativily to get up to his elevator and tree house.  It is so cool and we are proud of him for that.  They all know how to make or build anything they want or need.  (The Home depot has other classes to learn how to make and build things, even a woman’s class, check it out online and see, it is a fun activity)

In this age of joblessness, and the challenge of getting a respectable wage, and school loans that need to be repaid.  We really need to rethink the types of extracurricular activities we are keeping our children busy with.  Instead of worrying about whether they will be good enough to be picked for this or that.  Let us teach them to be good enough in daily living.  If we teach them to clean up after themselves, teach them to wash, dry and put away their clothes, teach them how to clean a bathroom, and how to wash floors, and how to manage money it could help them the rest of their life.  If they are slobs with these expectations that the parents and hired help are going to do everything, what kind of roommates will they be in a dorm, or if they want to share an apartment.  They will get kicked out and lose their deposit money.  What kind of marriage mates will they be if they cannot do these things.  Modern day woman do not want to carry the domestic load alone.  The day of a man coming home from work, grabbing a beer and sitting in front of a television for the next six or more hours are gone by.  Marriages like this are not surviving anymore.  It takes both mates to keep a house up.  My husband and sons all do their own laundry, and each has two nights a week of dishes and kitchen duties.  Tonight, one of them finished painting a bathroom for me, it took about twenty minutes for him to do it.

Success is not just career and home, it is family, and living our lives with those we love.  Whom says we have to overload our schedules with all these obligations.  Whom says we have to put all that stress on our children for them to be happy.  Do our children really have to play on some famous team for us to tell them well done.  Can’t we simplify our expectations and ease up the stress on ourselves and our children.  No one will be the lazier for it, but they might be the happier, more peace in the house since everyone isn’t running somewhere all the time.

There has to be a new balance considered.  It will benefit the marriages, and it will ease up some of this constant pressure on our youth.  Happy families are successful families.

The month of July can be a special start …

July can be a special month because it starts the 2nd half of 2015.  We have six months to accomplish all the things we had planned to do this year.

Personal appearance usually hits pretty high on everyone’s list, whether it is losing weight or just getting more exercise on a regular basis.  Why not start today.  I was so inspired by a technician at my cardiovascular surgeon’s office.  She is fit, trim, and she takes good care of herself.  She exercises by going running about five days a week, and she uses dumbbells to keep her arms, chest, and shoulders strong.  She even does wall push ups.  Her arms are beautiful.  Anymore, it is a rarity to see a person working in a doctor’s office that is in good shape, for those that are in good shape we appreciate your fine example.  When you see someone like that, you know it isn’t a person putting off their goal.

Getting things done around the homestead is usually a goal, whether it is repainting or deep cleaning, there is always something to do.  Instead of watching a movie maybe one eve after work you could go thru a closet or a couple of drawers.  It helps one to evaluate what will be needed for the season ahead.  There are great sales online for out of season clothes.  I was able to purchase eight vests, nice quality fleece vest for a minimal cost compared to what they will be in a couple months.  When I sent these off to my different friends teenage daughters, they were surprised to receive a winter item now.  They can’t wait til cooler weather comes and they can wear them.  I have a couple for myself and gave the navy one to my husband.  Still have many drawers and closets to clean and organize to start the next season out nice.  Another benefit to cleaning the closets and drawers, garage, etc. is that a person can have a yard sale and use the money for a fun daytrip or something.

Better diet, summer meals can actually be lighter ones.  A good salad for dinner with left over meat from previous evening put on top of salad with some good vegetables is great.  Light on our bodily system, no big mess in the kitchen.  Planning a few light dinners can save a person a lot of work in the kitchen, energy reserved for a nice evening walk.

Vacations, Daytrips, and visits to see loved ones.  We have six months to enjoy doing a few things.  Plan a midweek day to take off with our loved ones to see a local museum, park or zoo.  It is great to do these things while children or grandchildren have the summer off from school.  Is there a family member in a nursing home or rehabilitation center, go to a bookstore and get a couple bargain books with colorful pictures and interesting things to read to take them.  It doesn’t have to be a holiday or something to go visit and bring a gift.  A gift most precious is the one that comes unexpectedly.  The visit itself is a gift.  Teach your children to write a letter to a loved one, with a trip to the post office and letting the child buy the stamp and fill out the address and send off.  That is fast becoming a dying art.  I love snail mail, writing letters and receiving letters is a real joy.

The master lists can be a real help.  Put it up on the refrigerator.  Get the rest of your household involved, it can be fun.  I like to take a room for the month to get the room painted or trim finished, and rearrange it while I am deep cleaning it.  My mother when I was a child kept our home exceptionally clean.  In the spring she would pull all the furniture to the center of the room, wash the walls and windows, repaint if that was her plan, then put the spring covers on the furniture, and the spring curtains up and rearrange the furniture.  It all was a real event without the expense.  In the fall, we would pull the furniture in the center of the room and go thru it all again, and she would put up her fall winter curtains and covers and rearrange the furniture again.  It became a ritual we all looked forward to and enjoyed very much.  It helped us to look at the next half of the year with high hopes and optimism.  Although I am not organized myself, I still like those things she did, and I try to do it.  Yes, there is a lot to consider regarding all we want to accomplish before another year is behind us.  We have time to get a real jump on it.

Clean up this Life ….

Clean up our life, many people have a great and amazing life.  The rest of us need to take a good look at our life and see what adjustments we could make to improve the overall situation.

There are many areas we can consider:  Here are just five areas that could make a big difference in our life.

1.  Presentation:  As a very large woman I have come to realize that the presentation of self makes a difference in how I feel and how others respond to me.  A few heavy gals I know dress very nicely, but I have seen some become more immodest as the pounds come on.  The more pounds the lower the blouse goes.  The tighter the pants get.  I feel embarrassed for them.  The kind of attention they receive may not be honorable.  Or show any kind of respect for them.

Have a neat clean appearance, put on a small amount of make-up if you like, and do our hair nice, even our nails can be clean and nicely shaped.  Wearing attractive clothes that are modest improve the overall image.  Even getting an occasional pedicure inspires good feeling.  Being heavy gives me a lot of practice, so when I become thin, I will already be dressing and looking this way.  Have you ever seen a large woman whom is lovely with a beautiful smile that dresses nice?  That could be you.

2.  Conversation with a smile.  There is an art to good communication.  Personally, I do not like the question  “How are you?”  I feel that is a dead end question.  Do I tell them how bad I really feel and how hard it was to get out today.  Or do I just say fine when it is not fine.  Instead a question I like is:  “What have you been busy with lately?”  People love to tell you what they have been doing.  Listen, do not be too quick to take over with your own thoughts.  Respond to their thoughts and expressions with something like “How long have you been working on that”?  “what caused you to be interested in that?”  Let them talk.  You will enjoy listening to another.  I already know how I think and feel, I am interested in how others think and feel.   Then you can say, I ventured in that a few years ago and got off track, maybe you can help me get started again.  Thus, more promising interchanges and possibly spending time with a new friend.  If there is time for it, you can tell them something interesting you have been doing, working on, or going to, and I am sure they will want to hear about it.  If the conversation drops, you can still remember what they told you, and next time you see them you can ask them about it.  Comfort levels will increase, and a friendship can develop.

3.  Our surroundings, are we clean and organized.  That is such a challenge.  Some are naturals at this and I admire them.  Closets can be a big problem.  Especially when you have winter and summer mixed together, or a variety of sizes, or casual with the dress.  It is good to pull all out of and organize by type:  a shirt section, a skirt section, dress section, casual, short coats, long coats.  Even then organize your skirt section by colors like a rainbow.  Then the dress section.  It helps when getting dressed to quickly pick out what you need.  If you are in a few different sizes and you constantly shuffle thru to find what will fit, it can be discouraging.  Make a section for just what you can where now.  This has made my life so much easier.  I use to cry just pulling out 20 items to see what would fit.

4.  Time management, everyone has time to manage.  Responsibilities can take so much time and energies.  It is hard to get the checkbook balanced and the laundry done when your overwhelmed with obligations.  Make a big calendar page and fill it up with the time blocks of your obligations, then see what time is not filled.  If it is all filled until bedtime, then there are a few things to consider.  Are all obligations essential?  A friend was running a kid to dance lessons and the other to football, and then to a camp, etc. and she would be at the meets, games and recitals.  She felt she was doing what she should be doing for the children, yet she was ruining her health, nervous system, and she became resentful. Do you have a choice as far as the extracurricular?  Limit the extracurricular.  Some kids do not like it as much as you may think.  The kids still have scholastic pressures, and kids get tired too.  Some kids get stressed and start getting head aches and pain because it is too much for them.  From school to the extra curricular, to home for quick dinner and down for a heavy load of homework.  It can be too much for all.

Make time during your lunch hour to prepare a bible lesson, or take a walk, or balance a check book, or make important phone calls, or rest because you need to.  Using time blocks can help you to find bits of time to fulfill all your responsibilities.  Throw the laundry in, take a walk, put laundry in dryer, vacuum a room or two, clean the bathroom. fold the laundry and put away.  Sit and have a cup of coffee and read a bit.  That was just a time block.  You got a lot done.  Because I do not have a lot of energy, I work in small blocks and get more done.

5.  Obeying the laws, no speeding, paying our bills on time, saves us money and peace of mind.  Need I say more.  The cost of the ticket and increase in insurance is no small price to pay for the two or three minutes we imagine we save by speeding.  Obey the limit, do not get pulled over, and save your money.  Fines on the bank account, or fees on late bills.  Living within our means can add up to a lot of savings and again, peace of mind.

Cleaning up our habits and routines saves us time.  Reassessing what our obligations are and being sure whether they are important or not.  This could help us be in better control of our time.  Being mindful that whether we are obese or just plump, we need to present ourselves in well arranged attire.  We do not have to wait until we are thin to feel good about ourselves.  Our whole self image can improve with a new attitude of exercising healthy habits and cleaning up our life now.  We can build a better life now.  Start today.