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What does your home say about you?

Here’s a fun little quiz … I don’t know about the sparkling clean part, at least not right now. I’m in the midst of removing carpet and staining a wood floor hidden underneath! But … here are my results.

Your Home Says That You Feel Settled and Calm
You come across as very intellectual. People take your wisdom seriously. You are sparkling clean!
You are a very domestic person. You enjoy decorating, cooking, and making things homey.
You are a very nurturing person. You find meaning in taking care of others.
You feel settled in your life. You have enough time to focus on little details.
You are a very self sufficient person. You can get along well without much help.
Your friends see you as courageous, dynamic, and bright.

What Does Your Home Say About You? Try it out!

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Thought for the day

I came across this today while perusing another blog …

‘The creative person is both more primitive and more cultivated, more destructive, a lot madder and a lot saner, than the average person.’  — Frank Barron

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Inspiring Ideas for Home

Need some new ideas to spice up your home? I always get the house blahs in January … and I’ve found a great place for new ideas. Better Homes & Gardens has a great Web site brimming with delightful inspiration. Right now they’re running a special offer. They have catalogued over 20,000 photos and they are available for your viewing pleasure … for a price.

Find ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.

Find ideas from Better Homes & Gardens.

A three month subscription to their library is $24.95. They are offering free subscriptions to Better Homes & Gardens and Country Home magazines if you subscribe. In reality, they are collecting magazine subscriptions with 20,000 photos as an incentive. But if you want inspiration from the comfort of home …

I recently discovered Hooked on Houses. It’s a fun place to get your house “fix” — photos inside and out of everything from cottages to multi-million dollar mansions. I do not have, nor will I ever have a marble bathroom with gold fixtures, heated floors and glass shower walls. It’s fun to look at it though!

Hooked on Houses has great photos for your viewing pleasure.

Hooked on Houses has great photos for your viewing pleasure.

And here’s a little bargain-hunting tip for mid-winter shopping. Sometimes you just need “something” … not necessarily an antique piece. Maybe it’s an urn for some dried flowers or an iron wall ornament … try Big Lots. You have to be careful. You have to sort through all of the bad to find the good, I admit. Every once in awhile, though, you can find a great basket or a luxurious throw or fabulous ribbon or some authentic looking faux pottery planters. And there’s nothing more exciting than turning super bargains into fabulous finds.

First things first, though. You should clean before you redecorate. There are all types of TV shows dedicated to it … Clean House … Mission Organization … etc. First I clear out the clutter, then I do a bit of organizing, then I dust and sweep. THEN, and only then, do I allow myself to indulge in the really fun stuff.

Discipline yourself. Work first, play second. Otherwise, you’ll have a well-decorated home that’s dirty and cluttered.

If you’re lost in a sea of despair when it comes to cleaning, try Spring Cleaning for Normal People.

Well, those are my house tips on this cold winter day … happy decorating!

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A happy holiday

I hope each of you enjoyed a wonderful, cozy and comforting holiday with those you hold dear. We had a chaotic few days … family gatherings, the birth of my sister’s twins, and our three kids who are still dancing around with visions of sugarplums in their heads.

I didn’t find any coal in my stocking — always a good sign. I did discover a feast for the senses waiting beneath the tree. If these delightful items don’t conjure up a perfect afternoon, I don’t know what does!

Farmgirl Spa Package

  1. Touch (cozy wool boot socks)
  2. Taste (chocolate-covered almonds)
  3. Sight (a new book)
  4. Hearing (Trace Adkins CD)
  5. Smell (lavender lotion)

Who says diamonds are a girl’s best friend? I much prefer life’s simple pleasures. Which of course is what hubby was thinking when he presented me with a pair of insulated Carhartt bibs. Uh-oh! No more excuses about it being too cold … I have a feeling he won’t be taking pity on me anymore!

Well, time to prepare for New Year’s Eve. Think “toga” and “mac and cheese” … photos will be forthcoming!

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Finding my Christmas spirit

Usually my halls are decked both inside and out. Usually there are several kinds of Christmas cookies prepared and waiting in the freezer. I’ve been in a funk. Try as I might, the Christmas spirit has eluded me. And then yesterday, after a series of comical and could-have-been-tragic events, I found the missing link. The key to my transformation was a simple little sentence drilled into me by a Sunday school teacher:

Take ME out of the equation.

Aside from admitting that yes, I hear voices in my head on occasion, I must also admit how extremely selfish I have been. Who am I to go around ho-humming about Christmas not being magical? It’s not about me! It’s about the birth of Jesus and the promise for mankind. It’s about everyone else … EXCEPT me.

Is there a doctor in the house?
We arrived at a family gathering yesterday and the kids wandered off … as kids do when surrounded by a couple dozen of their cousins. One cousin was astute enough to grab a bottle of pills from my two-year-old’s greedy little hands and quickly report that he had eaten “a bunch” of them. He had wandered into a bedroom, opened a bottle of medicine and eaten 1/3 of the pills in the bottle. Thank heavens we have a doctor in the family! She immediately called Poison Control. Because the pills were “homeopathic” muscle relaxers, my little pill-popper would be fine, aside from some intestinal upset. 

Rules to live by:
1) Never take your eyes off a two-year-old
2) Make sure there is a doctor at every family gathering where such two-year-old is present
3) Take “me” out of the equation and be attentive to everyone around you

I experience near heart failure and a jolt of reality. Funny how God reminds us who is really in charge when when we go a little left-of-center and start trying to manage our own lives. Who cares if the house isn’t dripping with white lights and red bows! And to think … I almost didn’t attend that party because I was feeling blue! Do you know what happened when we got home? I put my kids to bed, turned on my favorite Christmas CD and made  a batch of cookies. Aahhh, Christmas bliss

And the hits just keep on coming
I went to bed with a happy heart. My daughter awoke with a bellyache at 11:30. My son awoke with an earache at midnight. The new puppy had to pee a short time later. At 1:30, my daughter said, “My tummy really hurts, Mommy.” And then she proceeded to spew a gallon of puke on my bare feet. No worries … she no longer had a tummy ache!

Turn your eyes and heart outward … and have a very, merry Christmas!

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All in the family

Those marketing folks at L.L. Bean are brilliant. Truly. My new catalog arrived last weekend. There, on the cover, was my dog … not really my dog, but the canine in the jolly red scarf so closely resembled my dear departed Shelby that I could only stare. I did not peruse the catalog and make huge purchases, I’m sure that would disappoint those marketing gurus. I did decide it was time to find a new dog.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you may have read my post about Shelby. My beloved black lab passed away in June. She’d been with me for 14 years … before my husband, kids and life as I know it now. She helped me finish college, get a job, move away, find new pursuits, and eventually I repaid her by getting married, buying her a bed of her own, and then filling the house will loud, crazy kids to harass her. She can’t be replaced, but it’s time to add someone new to our lives. L.L. Bean sparked my loneliness.

A quick Internet search discovered a shelter not far away with several black lab puppies available. And now, one short week after that ad lab with the big brown eyes implored me to endeavor, Libby has joined our lives. She’s seven weeks old, wears a pink polka-dot collar and gets the hiccoughs every evening. She’s sweet. She’s ornery. She’s not Shelby, but she is the cutest thing since!

Libby

Meet our new baby: Libby

Other news from the funny farm …
Marigold the goat is getting entirely too comfortable around here. She follows us around like a dog. She hangs out on the porch. One morning I opened the back door only to witness Daisy the dog and Marigold the goat both coming out of the dog house! The other afternoon I looked across the pasture to a scene that still sends me into shrieks of laughter. Picture it: Cara the Quarter Horse standing proudly in the sun while Butters the pony takes a siesta in the grass in front of her. Daisy the dog sits at attention close by. Marigold the goat is standing … standing! … on Butters’ back. And Butters seemed perfectly content. I don’t know many horses who let goats stand on them, but whatever. As long as the animals are happy, so am I!

Life on the funny farm ...

Life on the funny farm ...

Well, hubby is cutting wood. Farm boy is farming … and I need to clean up a cookie baking mess and then throw in a load of laundry before Sunday supper at church. We’re eating soup and sandwiches and then out for Christmas caroling. Aahhh, fun, fun. Hope you found a little bit of holiday spirit this weekend!
I need a tractor upgrade!

I need a tractor upgrade!

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