Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stretching Laundry (ode to early mom bloggers)

This morning as I was cleaning the kitchen and wiping some chocolate residue, I grabbed the dewy droplets gathered around the sink with the clean end of my cloth before running it back to the laundry area.  It took me back to my beginning blogging days, which weren't writing at all.  I read, enjoyed, literally devoured my favorites.  Blogging was a medium that spoke to me.  It hasn't held the timeless appeal that books have, but it felt social in a way reading just never had before that.

It was in one of those early blogs, Amy's Humble Musings, where she gave tips for other new moms on how to "survive."  Seriously.  At that stage of my momming game, that was what I was looking for advice on.  I happened to be pregnant with my third child and sick through much of the day.  Stealing a glance at a post written by someone in similar shoes, on the old laptop on our kitchen counter, was the highlight of my very long days.

Two of her tips I remember to this day.  One, was to buy all white socks and anyone close to the same size feet could wear them.  Also if they are all the same color and style, NO MATCHING!  Any two are a pair!  My over use of exclamation points here is to emphasize how life changing this idea was for me.  I handled socks that way for years and its only been the last couple that we've branched out to different varieties of colors and styles and certain pairs for certain individuals :).  My oldest three and I have similarly sized feet so we could totally do this again if needed.

The second tip of hers was to maximize the use of laundry.  Big families have soooo much laundry in case you haven't heard.  Especially when a new baby is in the house.  Her tip was that if the baby spit up or there was a big spill on the kitchen floor to wipe up, grab something from the dirty laundry! For example spilled milk on the kitchen floor could be sopped up with a tshirt or towel that already was headed for the wash.  It makes sense, if something is headed there already to make more use of it than dirtying a second cloth.

So as I used the last clean end of my dirty rag on some water droplets today it took me back to those days.  The memories of sharing tips with "friends" by reading early blogs were warm ones.  The desperation and loneliness of early motherhood that led me to them?  Not so much.  It wasn't a bad stage of life, it was just that, a stage.  I was young, thankfully, my body I guess had the stamina to get through what it needed to bring to life all those babies.  And the best part?  I survived.  :)

Rocks in My Dryer, Musings of a Housewife, Amy's Humble Musings....they all got me through.  I don't think any of those ladies are doing quite the same work in quite the same platform as they did then, but I sure am grateful for this medium and what those early adapters did to enhance the life of this mom.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Real books not Facebook

I'm back again where I found myself a few years ago, running from what felt like a personal friend avalanche of yuckiness.  Now, mind you, I don't think any of my associates are purposefully sending out yucky vibes.  However, some of their opinions, like implying ethnic laziness or anti-patriotism just roil me like 1000 stabbings of ignorance.  I can't face it, especially from the likes of family members I know to be kind to people's faces.

So when I'm recoiling from that type of avalanche I turn to my comfort and intellectual solace -- real books.  Are you on Goodreads?  Wanna connect with me there?  I've been keeping track of the books I want to read as well as what I'm currently on.

This last one was motivating, as well as a little funny.  Goodness, I've been making a little money here and there for 7 years for my writing, but never would dare call myself a writer or author.  Isn't that funny?  My imposter complex serves no one, especially aspiring bloggers, so it should be gone like yesterday I think.  That may be the first hurdle this book was meant to overcome.  Reading the title right there makes one ask a lot of self talk questions, it seems.

Have you read a good book lately?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Haircolor Trends

Oh, I miss my years of many haircolors.  Mine will hardly accept any color now, so it seems that time has past, but I love some of the new trends emerging.  The black and silver, for one!  That might just be me wanting to accept my natural "highlights" though.

So which would you try?

Charly's Biscuits

I was delighted when my friend Charly shared this photo and recipe of southern goodness!  Honestly I didn't know such flaky homemade biscuits were achievable.  Thankfully she allowed me to publish it here, so I'll always be able to find this recipe and Pin it, too!

Charly's Biscuits

2 C flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2-3/4 tsp course salt
--Mix well. 

6 Tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
--Incorporate into dry mix.

3/4 C Whole milk
--Mix with a rubber spatula or wood spoon until just moistened.
--Roll out onto floured surface 1/4-1/2" thick, cut with biscuit cutter, place on parchment papered cookie sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

--The biggest secret is, do not overwork the dough!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Compassion Void of Fear

I've been the person that hid from others' sharing of pain and stuffed down the fear it inspired in me by trying to passive/aggressively tell them to BE MORE POSITIVE.  I didn't realize until a mental breakdown that sometimes our bodies intervene in our white knuckle positivity to tell us no.  No, this is not okay.  No, past trauma will not be overruled by a painfully large smile.

What I thought was that worst of situations--being forced out of that forced happiness, turned out to be the key and hidden tunnel to kindness.  Compassion is something I used to white knuckle much of the time too.  I would hear something in church about it so I would try to picture those people I most found myself disgusted with and tried to picture how I could be loving about their choices.  I just couldn't picture it.  I thought if I pray loooonger, maybe it'll come to me.  Of course at the time, I didn't realize about the choices they were making that so bothered me had been indoctrinated in that same church setting where truth was quietly trying to keep up its whisper about love.  Sometimes the love part can be quieted and hidden by the loud list of rules and what is BAD.  So no wonder I couldn't reconcile the two.

The beauty I've learned or discovered that works for me in religion is that point where you hit the wall of conflict with the list of BAD vs the teaching to be kind.  Even in a church that bears his name it seems that a crossroad comes up that must be reckoned with whether we will actually give up everything to fully give in to the love he stands for or whether we will hold more tightly to the rules letting his essence fall to the wayside in payment for approval of the masses.

When there is blame around me by people who are scared of those who show pain, I wonder why?  Why was I so scared to face the dark, the pain the yang to my yin of happy happy happy?  I think it was fear.  Fear of compassion being a black hole, from which no hope would emerge.  Fear of compassion being something I wouldn't "do right," thereby worsening pain.  So like all things that are feared, courage to try despite possible failure is called for.  Fear, in all areas of life, shouldn't be the driving force.  It shouldn't pick our big life's choices, and it shouldn't pick our love.  Giving love can be a reward in itself no matter how it is received, so I challenge myself to keep taking that risk.
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