Home for the Holidays, by Thomas Kincaid

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sabbath Prayer

Helping Hands by Marilyn Hunt

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
- Samuel F. Pugh

Friday, February 25, 2011

Beautiful Bedrooms

Hello, Friends and Visitors!

My computer is finally back and healthy, fingers crossed! I am able now to visit everyone and post again. Whew!
Oh, how I love to snuggle up in a beautiful bedroom. There is something so cozy and inspiring when one's room is artfully decored (notice, that I said "artfully" and not "expensively". There is a difference!). It sets this room apart from the rest of the home as a sanctuary and special place. It isn't a Family Room where children romp; nor is it the kitchen, where one eats, or the office where one works. It is a place to dream, to love, to relax, to pray and to feed one's soul.

One doesn't have to spend lots of money, but it does take time, effort and a creative eye.

Blue is a soft, peaceful color for sleeping. I love it in bedrooms. Our master bedroom is blue.

Image from Country Living

Lots of linens, hand-me-downs, family heirlooms, thrift store and estate sale finds can turn one's room into a lovely place to ponder and dream.

Image from Country Living

How I love a beautiful bedroom!

Bedrooms are places for beloved objects and items of sentiment. Books and lovely music. Candlelight. Scented potpourri or incense. Quiet voices. Stilled thoughts. A place of rest and renewal for body and soul.

O, how I love a beautiful bedroom!

How about you? What do you think is essential in one's room?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Will Somebody Please Turn on the Light?!

Well, we are into Day 7 of having no computer. It turned out to be more than a new charger cord that was needed. The whole darn hard drive crashed as well. Fortunately, the information is able to be saved, but we are paying through the nose for this back up, as our Mozy subscription was paid for, but not working (Aaargh!). Great.

So, still no pictures for my posts and very little blog visiting can be done...:(


I received some interesting comments on my post about the use of music in our daily lives. One friend asked what artists I listen to while I am working around the house. I listen to Enya, and any type of instrumental that has a simple arrangement and has only a few instruments. More complicated music, like Classical (a big love of mine) distracts me from whatever I am doing and I feel like I need to sit down and truly listen to and appreciate the piece, which is nice, but keeps me from being productive. Lyrics do the same thing, believe it or not. But then I am VERY distracted. If you are more normal, you can probably do all kinds of music and be very effective. :)


Another thing that really helps me be more energetic and productive is light . In the winter months especially, but also all throughout the year, I really need a lot of light in the house. For some reason, I feel more peppy and energized to work when I am around a lot of it.

I use a Verilux Happy Lite for my kitchen, which was built without a window in it and can be dismal without a lot of help. This coupled with regular kitchen lighting does much to warm up this space and lift my mood.

Throwing open any and all windows is a real plus as natural light has the best positive effects of all on the mind and body. In all seasons other than Winter, I take breaks from my homemaking to work in the garden, sit out on our back deck or our backyard lawn swing to enjoy the sunlight. What a difference it makes to energy and desire to get things done.

How about you? Do you have dark areas in your home that are a little dreary? What do you do the cheer them up a bit?

Well, I am off now to work on my home...The sun is out following an incredible thunder snow storm last night. We went from Springtime weather to heavy winter in just a few short hours. Well, that's life for you on the Wasatch Mountain front!

Have a great one!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Role of Music in Our Daily Lives

I have to admit that I am a very distracted thinker. Because of this, it is often very difficult for me to focus on the task at hand. I start out doing one thing and then a thought intrudes about something else and I break away to focus on a completely different task. The most fun about this is that it has gotten worse with age. However, I have found something that has greatly aided in my search for anything that could help me be more effective each day.

Quite simply, it is music.

Not just any kind of music will work. I have experimented with very different types of genres that I love - classical, musicals, blue grass, big band...None of it really worked for me until I happened to try quiet instrumental music, often referred to as "New Age". There is something about the lack of complication in the arrangements, usually just a few or sometimes only one instrument is used, and the beat is slow and melodic. Somehow these simple strains calm my thoughts and help me tune in to what I'm doing.

I can't prove this or even explain why this type of music is able to help me so much. It would be interesting to find out if any studies have been done about the effects that certain types of music have on the mind. I am sure there would be a very measurable effect. For me, the difference in my ability to be calm and stay on task with and then without music is amazing.

I use to fill my quiet hours of homemaking with a low buzz of conversation from the tv. I would use it to keep me "company". But it would often pull me to the screen and cause me to waste time. Plus, I frankly don't like a steady diet of TV programs, as the subject matter is usually some form of a crime show or exploitative sex content. Now, I turn the TV on only to tune to the Soundscape music channel that Comcast offers.

What a difference to my day, such calm and peace and feeling of accomplishment.

So, I pass this along to anyone else who is, as Flylady calls us, a Side-Tracked Home Executive. Try the use of music to stimulate and focus your senses to where you want them to be.

No more scramble thoughts!

How about you? How do you use music during your day?

Have a great one!

(Computer still in shop...also has a hard drive problem!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Computer Snafu #1,000

Okay, so I was having fun, messing around with my blog (as you can tell from the GIGANTIC header picture), when suddenly, snap - the whole computer shut down and would not be turned back on again. What?! The?! Heck?!!!! So, back to the computer doctor we go. Turns out our computer charger cable is bad and my battery ran hopelessly down.

The good news: my warranty will pay for a new one.

The bad news: It has to be shipped from the manufacturer which will take 4-5 business days.


Meanwhile, my daughter's Honors English Class project was abruptly brought to a grinding halt and the wonderfully understanding teacher gave her a "no excuses" "F", even though my daughter had been writing all week. (Never fear, mother will be calling this lovely lady and giving her a rather LARGE piece of what's left of my mind!)

I cannot the change the big scary Valentine picture on my blog page. I am typing at the library and there can be no modifications here. So, no, I haven't gone out of my mind with my monstrous decorations. I am thwarted in Computerland and can do nothing about it.

I will be visiting blogs on Monday and posting again, albeit without pictures. So, check back and hopefully everything will be normal again soon.

Have a great one!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Simple Woman's Daybook, February 8, 2011


Outside my window...there is cloud cover, but the sky is bright. Several inches of snow lie on the ground and it is cold.

I am thankful for... light. Brightness. My mood is greatly affected by both.

From the kitchen
...I must admit the breakfast dishes still need to be washed and put away. The counters are cluttered and await my diligence. Two hungry cats have formed a welcoming commitee for the tiny mouse who somehow got into our house and is hiding under the stove.

I am wearing...jeans and a shirt...ugh, so much for my commitment to greater femininity.

I am creating...a pefect ham sandwich on two slices of the best bread I have ever made (put lecithin in it!).

I am going...to eat my sandwich!

I am reading...a catalog of The Great Courses, lectures on cd from leading intellectuals on various subjects. I want to take the course on Linguistics.

I am hoping...for too many things to list here. I guess it is a blessing to have hopes for without them life would be dreary.

I am hearing...Soundscapes, a channel of peaceful instrumentals from Comcast TV.

Around the house...the kitties continue their vigil, I am writing and eating, music is playing and the washer is going.

One of my favorite things...right now, is my wonderful ham sandwiches. I hope there are ham sandwiches in Heaven, though I don't see how there can be as that would require the death of a heavenly piggie and there is no death in Heaven. SO, I better get my fill down here!

A few plans for the rest of the week: A Woman's get together at church tomorrow night, two trips to the LDS Temple, and a Valentines Dinner this weekend at the house of my beautiful niece, Emily (technically, that's next week - Sunday).

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Here is the Mouse Welcoming Commitee....Timmy, the first one to shake hands with the mousie when he comes out...Sunny, the back up plan in case Timmy should miss their guest when he first comes out. They wouldn't want to be rude.

(Alas, sweet Mouse, I fear you haven't long to live).

For more Daybook posts, please visit HERE.
Have a great day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I've Received An Award!

I received this lovely award from Laura at Our Scented Cottage, which is one of my very favorite blogs ~ thank you, Laura!

To Accept The Award Requirements: Thank and Link Back to the Blogger Who Awarded You With The Award and Share 7 Things About Yourself. Award 15 Recently Discovered Great Bloggers and contact the bloggers, inform them of the award.

Seven things about me:

1) I love sushi! Sushi, sushi, sushi! I love to eat it. I love to make it. And I love to think about it! :)

2) I am a child at heart. I still remember clearly what it felt like to be so young, all the ebullience and imagination. Deep inside, I am still a shirt-tail girl, running through the grass, chasing butterflies and picking daisies.

3) I adore my two children. They have set my life on fire. Everyday is made more special because they are in it. I just wish they could still sit on my lap for a cuddle! :)

4) I wanted depserately to be a dancer, but an inherited, degenerative condition with my feet finally nipped that one in the bud. I look forward to dancing in Paradise one day!

5) I love to read and study different subjects on my own, especially history. I read hundreds of books, really! However, I am lousy in school. It is hard for me to sit all day listening to different people talk me to death. I had a dream a few nights ago that I had gone back to college to complete my degree. First, I couldn't remember where the class was and then when I finally found it I spent the entire class time rolling a pencil off my nose and staring at the ceiling...Sounds like me!

6) I think that a home is far more cozy with a cat in it.

7) I love music. My favorites are Classical, Instrumental New Age Blue Grass, Celtic, Big Band and clean musicals. I'm not much for popular music. Never have been. As a child, while everyone else was listening to the Beatles, I was listening to Beethoven.

Now, the wonderful blogs that I am honoring with this award are...(drum roll, please)

Enjoy! And have a wonderful day -


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cats on Tuesday

I opened my empty rag drawer last night and stepped away to get some newly washed clothes to put into it. When I came back there was a decidedly non-rag mound within it.

Timmy, what are you doing in there?
It cracks me up how any time we do something, open up a drawer or lay something on the floor, the cats think that it's for them. Thank you, Mama, they say with their eyes.

Here is Sunny getting his tummy rubbed.
For more Cats on Tuesday, please visit Gattina's blog HERE.

Have a great one!