Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lent Day 8: A new life for old t-shirts

I talked a little bit yesterday about how much more I've been able to get done around my house since I'm not spending my time playing video/online games.  Well, the trend of checking off items from my list continues!

A few months (egad!) I cleaned out my t-shirt drawer when I found it was difficult to put the clean ones away.  What's up with t-shirts?  I swear they multiply like rabbits!  Do a charity event - get a t-shirt!  Win a contest - get a t-shirt!  They are everywhere!  Anywooo...

I hardly ever actually wear t-shirts (long story starting when I was younger - a garment with writing on it displayed on the chest of a VERY self-conscious well-endowed teenage girl.  ugh!).  So I cleaned out my t-shirt drawer and got rid of quite a few of some of the ones that were torn or stained, etc.  The problem is that there were a few of them that I really liked because of what they said or where they came from.  What's a girl to do?  I know!  Make some t-shirt grocery bags!  Yay!  I didn't do a tutorial because there are TONS of them out there and really, it's such an easy thing.  With a little sewing knowledge, it can be done in just a few simple steps!

1)  Cut each of the sleeves off at the joining seam.
2)  Turn the shirt inside out and stitch the opening at the bottom together.
3)  Lay the shirt flat and use a bowl to trace a larger opening around the neck.
4)  Turn it right-side out and you're done!

(I took some crappy ok photos of them, but I'll have to add them later since I forgot to upload them.  Oops!)

I'm looking forward to even more sewing in the next few weeks.  I'll keep you posted on my progress and take some better pictures this time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lent Day 7: Newfound time!

The other day I told you that I had given up playing video/online games for Lent.  I was sure it would be a struggle for me to do because they are sort of habit for me.  If I want to relax, I play.  If I am feeling stressed, I play.  If I am bored, I play.  I definitely think it could be considered an addiction of sorts.

The first few days I think it was sort of like going through withdrawal.  After the initial sort of "what do I do now?" feeling, I got busy!  I have a huge Pottery Barn chalkboard in my kitchen covered with my To Do list.  It a list of just SOME of the things that I feel like I need to do/fix/clean around my house.  That list has been there for ages with little action taken on the items because of my "lack of time".  Well, guess what I found!  Loads and loads of time that I was simply wasting on video games!

I used to feel like I hardly any time in the evening after working a full time job all day.  That's not the case this week!  On Monday night, I organized some of my Ebay items (more to come on that later) so that I could list some more things in the coming days.

Tonight,  I FINALLY checked a big item off of my list!

I don't have a pantry.  In fact, I ENVY people who do.  Instead, I bought a couple of bookcases from Ikea and made my own makeshift pantry.  I'm not thrilled that they are open and don't have doors (I like to keep things tidy behind doors), but I am making do.  So, with all of my newfound time, I spent about an hour and cleaned out my cupboards, chucked out of date items, cleaned shelves and put everything back all neat and tidy ala "Sleeping With the Enemy".  (All of the labels have to face out).  It's not done yet, but at least I've made some progress!

Lent is 40 days long, so I'm looking forward to get some more things crossed off of that big chalkboard! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lent Day 6: Madison Monday

I have completely fallen down on my job of posting about my niece, Madison!  Luckily, a few weeks ago I was able to spend some quality time with the little munchkin while my brother and his wife were away.  She is such a cutie and so even-tempered most of the time!  Right now she is trying to get some teeth and over the weekend that I was there she was doing her darnedest to get some forward momentum and actually crawl.  A few days later my brother said she had finally succeeded and she hasn't stopped since then!

Beware!  Madison is on the move!!  Today:  crawling.  Tomorrow:  the world!!

I apologize about the quality of the video here, but it was taken with my cell phone and I'm working on finding a better video source so that I can post on here.  Until then, enjoy Madison's world internet premiere!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lent Day 5: Do you know where your pew is?

I don't talk much about my faith or church life on here because 1) while this blog is about MANY thing, it isn't about that and 2) my faith life is a private thing between God and me.  I grew up in the church and went to a parochial (church) school until I went to college and in that time I witnessed a lot of people who claimed they were Christians on Sunday, but lived a life that professed otherwise the rest of the week.  So instead of speaking about it, I prefer to let my life be a witness to others about my faith.

...but that is not what I'm here to talk about today.  No, today I'm here to talk about where I sit in church.  Now that my seem like a mundane subject, but I don't think it is.

You see, growing up in the church my parents still attend, we ALWAYS sat in the same pew.  There was nothing special about that pew and there weren't assigned seats or anything, but I guess we, like many others, were creatures of habit.  To this day, as far as I know, my Mom stills sits there.  My dad never did, but that's another entry for a different subject on a different day.

Other "regulars" had their pews as well and you could always tell who was/wasn't at church simply by checking out "their" pew.

Then when I started dating Troy 7+ years ago and I started going to "his" church, we didn't always sit in the exact same pew, but at least in the same 5 foot radius of one particular area.  I never really said anything about it and didn't really have an issue with it at the time, but over the last few months while attending the church alone, I've noticed a few things.  First, that particular spot is under the balcony, so the sounds of the choir or congregation singing aren't great.  I'm also certain that the amazing pipe organ could be heard better from a different location.  It's also near the back of the church which makes seeing events like baptisms and soloists who are at the front more difficult to witness.

So, the last few weeks I've been "experimenting" with where I sit.  I've been trying to figure out which location suits me the best where I feel like I can be involved at the level I want to be involved and get the most out of my Sunday morning pew time.  I know this is going to sound odd, but at 30-something this is the first time I've actually asked MYSELF where I want to sit.  It seems such a simple thing on it's surface, but I think it speaks volumes to how, up until now, I've not been honoring myself, my needs or the needs of my soul.

As I go through the next week, I'm hoping to remember to honor myself and the needs of my soul and to try to find "my pew" in every situation.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lent Day 4: Song Time Saturday

It's Saturday and I'm feeling a bit frazzled, so I decided to listen to some music (and then share it with you!) to quiet my soul.  Here is one of my "go-to" songs lately.  It's called "I Don't Ever Give Up" by Patti Griffin and makes me feel a little bit better about things.

There are some days I don't think I'd make it through without a little melodic therapy.  How about you?  Are there songs that speak to your soul?  Can music change your mood?

Here are the lyrics to "I Don't Ever Give Up" by Patti Griffin:

"I Don't Ever Give Up"

I'm no kid in a kid's game
I did what I did, I've got no one to blame
But I don't give up, no, I don't ever give up
It's all I've got, it's my claim to fame

I'm no fighter but I'm fighting
This whole world seems uninviting
But I don't give up, no, I don't ever give up
I fall down sometimes, sometimes I come back flying

Liars are lying, airplanes are flying
Love isn't here, love isn't here
But it's somewhere
Time to forget me, but something won't let me
Love isn't here, love isn't here
But it's somewhere

And I cleaned and I washed up
This dream I don't ever give up
I don't ever give up, I don't ever give up
No, I don't ever give up, no, I don't ever give up
No, I don't ever give up, I don't ever give up

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lent Day 3: A day for counting blessings

As tears and anguish take place half a world away and Japan wakes up to the devistation wrought by the earthquake and tsunami, I feel it's time to count my blessings.  I know I often use this as a platform for griping, but I would just like to say how fortunate I feel to be surrounded by loving friends and family who are healthy and safe.  As I crawl into my nice warm bed this evening, I sent out thoughts and prayers to all those who are not so fortunate.  I wish for them peace amidst the storm and the loving arms of God wrapped around them.

Lent Day 2: Share the love

So, spring is right around the corner and you're dreaming of spending some time out in the glorious weather.  Do you know who else likes to spend time running around and playing out in the bright shiny sun?  Shelter dogs!

And you're in luck!  There are some amazing dogs at the Indianapolis Humane Society right now.  Since it's on my list (more on that later), I've been volunteering there spending time playing and walking dogs.  I try my best to remember that my job is to pet/walk/just spend time with the doggies so that they remember that they are meant to be with people so that when the right person comes into adopt them, they will make an excellent addition.

The thing about shelter dogs is they are faced with the same struggle to find love that I battle.  If they aren't cute, sweet and cuddly looking, they are probably just gonna get passed by because nobody is taking the time to judge them on more than just the size of their body and the lie of their fur.

So, I'm gonna try to get a few of those doggies a bit more attention in hopes that they will find their "forever home" very soon.

My first little lover is Beauty.  As a gorgeous 9-month-old Black Labrador Retriever, she certainly lives up to her name!  If you're looking for an energetic, intelligent lover, (and aren't we all!) you most definitely would not go wrong with this pretty girl.  She does well playing with other dogs and we spent most of our time alternating between her playing with the treats I gave her and her leaning into me while she soaking in my petting her.  If she sounds as amazing as she is and you're interested in making her part of your family, you can check out how she can be yours by visiting her page here.

Our next sweetie is Blu.  He may look tough, but he's a real softie.  He has a strong, beautiful Pit Bull head and body!  He's not yet available for adoption because he's heartworm positive and The Humane Society is seeking sponsorship for his treatment, but I just know he will make an excellent companion once he's all better.  If his rugged good looks have you interested in bringing him home or you'd like to help with his medical treatment, you can find all that information here.

Finally, the dog who won my heart recently is Buck.  When I read the description on his kennel, I wasn't sure that I wanted to try to handle him.  He was nearly 70 pounds, he was a tall dog (his back reached my hips) and the description said that although he was housebroken, he needed to work on his manners.  The translation I've gleened from that in the past is that "bad manners" equals nearly no training and REALLY bad behavior (ie, jumping up, trying to bite, etc etc).  In the case of this dog, that is most definitely false advertising!!  Yes, he's a big dog at nearly 70 pounds, but he's so thin you can easily count all of his ribs.  He's definitely strong, but responded well to my guiding him on the leash without too much pulling.  He tried to jump up on me once, but after I told him to get down, that didn't happen anymore.  I always grab a handful of dog treats and once he discovered I had those, he showed himself to be a truly intelligent dog!  When I asked him to sit, his butt hit the ground immediately.  When I asked him to "stay" and I walked away with the treat in my hand, he didn't move a muscle until he was released by me to get his treat.  I'd hate to see this wonderful dog get passed over because of his reported "bad manners."  One warning, he's definitely got some slobber going on when you give him treats!  So if this gentle giant seems like a good fit for you, you can check him out at the Indianapolis Humane Society on North Michigan road in Indianapolis or go here for more information on how to bring him into your family.

Don't live in the Indianapolis area?  Check out the shelter near you for a new best friend because shelter dogs are sometimes the best dogs!! 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent Day 1

So, today is Ash Wednesday, which is the beginning of Lent and while I'm not Catholic, I do try to give up one thing and add another as a way of daily "worshipping".  In the past I've given up chocolate (ugh!) and soda (eh), but this year I decided to make a real sacrifice!  I've given games!  GASP!

For anyone who knows the Facebook addiction that is "Frontierville", you'll understand my pain.

I've read that people who play video games often feel like they are not competent or in control and in the world of the video game, you are the master!  Whether you're baking cakes, serving customers, or planting crops, you're in charge.  You can plant 100 crops and earn a badge!  The more badges you get, the "better" you are, right?

But the problem with these games is that they aren't real life.  They can take us away from fulfilling goals, spending quality time with friends and family or even cleaning out that spare bedroom you've been meaning to get to.  So over the next 40 days, I look forward to checking some of those things off of my To Do list that have been lingering on there for far too long.

I also look forward to getting back in touch with all of you.  I've been uninspired to "put it all out there" on here over the last couple of months, but it's time to get back on the horse.  After all, you all are wonderful and there's nothing so cleansing to ones soul as getting things off of your chest and onto "paper".  In addition, perhaps I'll even get to some of the posts that I've been stewing about far too long.

Until tomorrow, go with God.


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