Sorry about the lull here. We’ve been having a wonderful Indian summer (which simply demanded that I spend some time outdoors), and I’ve been busy building up the Ladies for Life blog, and we’ve been sick around here (winter bugs don’t always wait for winter, worse the luck, and on top of that, my husband’s nerve pain and lung problems have both been acting up pretty good), and I’ve been working my way back from a back injury (which has made it hard to sit at a computer), and we’re laying the groundwork to publish some books (btw: who knew bait and switch tactics were so common in the printing industry?), and the bookstore has needed some attention, and friends and family have had emergencies, and my computer got hacked and the fix left me without some usual features for a while, and internet connection has been hit and miss, and on the plus side my husband handed me an ESV Study Bible on Monday as an early one-year-since-baptism gift, and… And, anyway, it’s been busy around here, and this blog slipped down the sorted-by-priorities list.
I’ve also been in declutter mode again, which you wouldn’t know from looking at the house. I seem to specialize in looking-worse-before-it-gets-better decluttering. On the other hand, I have the satisfaction of knowing how many fewer armloads of stuff we have to work around or move again. One of the things that left the house this round was the television set, and to be fair my husband decided it was time to get rid of that. We cancelled cable months ago after we asked each other if it made any sense at all to be paying to have toxic material pumped into our home. This left us with two over-the-air channels, and a nice screen for DVD viewing. But we haven’t been watching the over-the-air channels, or DVDs, and since we get our news online and via radio, and can watch our DVDs on our computers, and somebody wanted to buy a TV cheap to watch DVDs (so didn’t care in the least that it’s old technology), we sold the TV. Such a deal. Less stuff, more money. I can go for that. It was a heavy TV, not huge but too big to easily dust under, so we are now also rid of a layer of three year old dust that was much worse than I imagined. All in all, it’s an improvement, I think.
I have also been trying to get my wardrobe in line. I finally stopped procrastinating and got some mending done and finished making a skirt and some new slips, but mostly I’m concentrating on deciding what to send to the thrift store. A couple of weeks ago I ran across an old friend who told me with some concern that his wife had 154 dresses. He asked me why a woman would do that. I couldn’t help him there, because I share his concern that a woman with too many clothes has her eyes on the wrong things. But then I went home and looked at my stash of wearables, and was surprised that my not-so-big wardrobe has rather more deadwood in it than I realized. I also have this theory (half-baked, admittedly) that if I get rid of the clothes that are too big for me, it will help me keep off the 15 pounds I have slowly but doggedly shed this year. (Call it culling myself into a proper corner, if you like.)
But of course, it’s also fun to take too-large clothes and cut and stitch them into something new… And I’ve been doing some of that, which has slowed down the ‘send clothes to the thrift store’ project. I no longer have a sewing machine, which means I’m doing everything by hand. It’s a nice hobby, but it can eat up the time like nobody’s business. (Kind of like blogging.) My last homemade skirt was made entirely by hand, but doesn’t look it. I get a kick out of that. (I know. I know. I am too easily amused…)
Seriously, though, ladies, besides simplifying your own life by reducing the clothes you have on hand to a reasonable amount, a lot of families are finding themselves pinched right now, and so a lot of people who haven’t been working outside the home will be going job hunting. If you happen to have job-suitable clothes you aren’t using, now might be a good time to get them to someone who perhaps needs them more than you do. Yes?
The mule deer continue to own the back yard, which sometimes gets interesting. We live in town, but our back yard has fruit trees and we let the grass and other ground vegetation (aka weeds) go semi-wild back there, and it has become a wildlife refuge of sorts. This has its pros and cons. I keep telling myself that a well-manured patch of ground is somehow a good thing, especially in an area being reclaimed from gold mining (this part of town is built over dredge piles, which is a fancy name for piles of gravel left behind huge machines that chewed their way through the valley during the gold rush days), but somehow the fact that it’s right out our back door makes it not seem so. I do like watching the deer (and they get along pretty well with the cats, which can be pretty funny, all the more so because our mule deer seem perplexed by our cats, and want to put their noses up close and have good sniffs, which offends the cats). But I also have a healthy respect for the ability of mule deer to maim or even kill people, so… did I mention that they own the back yard?
Speaking of babies, have you heard that some folks think that putting a fan in a baby’s room, or otherwise improving air circulation, might cut the risk of SIDS?
Fact checking: I’m trying to verify the facts in a story I heard the other day about wells and the water table in Utah, and although I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet, I am finding out some things about the Great Salt Lake that I didn’t know. The same website (Utah Geological Survey) also has a section on dinosaurs and other fossils.
Trivia: I finally know the proper name to call a Japanese wooden doll that I have: Kokeshi. In one of my Japanese dictionaries, the next word is koketsu, which means, variously (according to the dictionary): 1. a tiger’s den, 2. nothing ventured, nothing gained, 3. He who would search for pearls, must dive below. I can see where the second two meanings go together, but tiger’s den seems in a different category, somehow. Anyway, if you’re looking for a catchy new motto to spur yourself on, koketsu seems to have some possibilities…
While we are on the subject of trivia, and the Japanese language, can anyone tell me why the secondary name for the United States of America (behind Amerika), is Beikoku? In lower case, beikoku means rice or rice market or even rice ration-book, or so the dictionary says. There are lots of different Japanese names for rice, but I’m wondering why this one became synonymous with my country.