Permanent Marker on Computer Monitor December 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 10:00 am

What do you do when you realize that a Monkeytot has written on your LCD (or other kind of) screen with permanent marker? You ask Artgal. And Artgal promptly tells you to use a dry erase marker to clean it. And it works.

One caution: use Heloise’s advice, and wipe into the mark, not out from. If you wipe across your mark, it will smudge the dry erase ink and need more cleaning.


Simple Woman Daybook August 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 4:30 pm
For August 15, 2008

I’ve seen these several places, and decided to look into it. Here‘s where it began, and I rather like the idea. Please feel free, readers, to join in.

Outside My Window…
A riot of pumpkin plants. I didn’t actually plant them, but they grew from compost; now we have most of our front lawn covered with pumpkin plant and pumpkins. The biggest is the size of a small watermelon already. I can’t wait to see what our front yard will look like by October!

I am thinking…
about family members not here. I miss our oldest, and I am praying that she has a lot of joy and hope in her life.

I am thankful for…
That my mom and sister were able to come for Peter’s baptism this weekend. Even if it was only, really, for a day. One day is better than no days.

From the kitchen…
Today my Charming and Patient Husband is cooking… taco salad. My latest kitchen feat was chicken and dumplings. I just learned to make them this month, and they’ve been a big hit.

I am wearing…
blue athletic/stretch shorts and a short sleeved shirt with a busy brown and green flower design. No shoes, hair tied back. Still too hot.

I am creating…
Laundry soap. Ok, not the most creative thing in the world, but it makes me feel empowered to be able to make something practical and useful for myself at a savings. Plus, it has little pink flecks and smells like lemons.

I am going…
to the fair tomorrow. It’s the last day, and we weren’t able to go last year. There is something about a small town county fair that makes you feel so connected to the community. And every year I swear to myself that next year I’ll make Grandpa’s Boterkoek for the ethnic foods category.

I am reading…
From Housewife to Heretic by Sonia Johnson. It’s about a Mormon woman who was excommunicated for feminist activities in the 70’s. She’s a very good writer, and although I disagree with much of what she says, the presents herself so well that I am coming at least to understand better the “other side” of views that I disagree with.

I am hoping…
to get the house clean. Maybe it’s more of a wish than a hope. Maybe it’s science fiction. I’m not sure. But I would love, love, love, not to have to worry about what Peter might pick up and put in his mouth.

I am hearing…
My first semi-silence for most of the day. The kids moved my daughter’s stereo into the family room to listen to MP3s through real speakers. Loudly. Mostly it’s video game remixes, from Mario and Zelda games, at the moment. But I’m in my room and can’t hear much beyond muted voices through the wall, and the computer fan.

Around the house…
there’s a sense of lethargy that seems to accompany hot summer days. Our air conditioning has its limits, and with this many people in one house it does get rather humid. So the activity gradually slows down, until morning brings cool breezes through windows.

One of my favorite things…
Raindrops on roses, … oops. I mean, quality musicals. I do love The Sound of Music. Also, Brigadoon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I’m sure I’m leaving out a few.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
I haven’t done much planning for next week, but with the summer running out I really think we should try to make it to the pool at least one more time. Or maybe I could get the nerve to go there alone and swim some laps. I’m sure the week will include trying to tackle the mountain of laundry waiting to be put away, and I should get in some lesson planning, with school coming back so soon.


How Praying the Office Makes My House Pretty March 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:23 am

Some people do Fly Lady with great results. Some people are just naturally neat and organized. I pray the office. And you should see what it’s done to my home.

As a Carmelite Secular, I’m supposed to pray the office, but I’ve never been as good at it as I should be. But lately I’ve really been making more of an effort to improve, partly because final promises are approaching and I realize that I can’t very well promise obedience if I’m not even doing this little thing as well as I’m able. So recently I put the breviary next to my bed and set about working on consistency.

Then the most surprising thing happened. My living room got cleaned. I mean clean enough to have company for my son’s birthday. Grown up company. My mother in law. It was a shock.

Then a few days later, something else happened. The little concrete patio outside my front door started shaping up. This is no small feat, I might add. I started trimming the dread Juniper Bush from Heck. The thing was at least thirteen feet high and proportionately out of control. Thick branches, too big for our dull little saw. My son saw me, and came out to help. So while he lopped twigs and then branches (our ultimate goal is to destroy the fiend), I scooped, shoveled and swept the pile of maple leaves and juniper droppings beneath it, putting them into the mulch pile in the planter bed we’re trying to fill. Then my daughter saw us and joined in, too. She cleaned the trash and fishing supplies that had collected all around the hose.

For the first time in I don’t know how long, the front of our house is starting not to look junky. By the time the weather warms enough to plant flowers around the patio, it might even be downright pretty.

By now you are asking what on earth praying the Liturgy of the Hours has to do with cleaning the patio. I’ll tell you. As I prayed, something happened inside me that really shouldn’t have come as so much of a surprise: I began to feel grateful. I became much more acutely aware of the gifts God has given me, and how blessed I am. I found myself feeling the familiar, overwhelming gratitude that God has matched me up with a man I’m convinced must be among his very favorites. I found myself remembering that five years ago I was certain I could never own a home, and ten years ago I didn’t even have a home to live in. And I knew I must never, ever take these gifts for granted.

In a sense, when I’ve let mess overtake us, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. And lately I’m feeling an enormous sense of gratitude… and drive to show my gratitude by taking care of the gifts my Papa has given me.

I won’t knock Fly Lady; she’s done a lot of good for a lot of people. But for now, I’ll take the Office. Blessed be the Lord!