Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A couple random thoughts

I can't believe September is almost over. Even being a homemaker, time seems to fly. There are so many things I want to do but only so much time in a day. I guess that means prioritizing the things I do, deciding what is truly important and what I shouldn't waste my time on.

These days, I spend most of my productive time cleaning the house, studying Japanese, and exercising. My quilting has taken the back burner as has most of my reading. I think I need to limit my internet time so that I can tackle some of the other things I wish I had time for. There's really no reason for me not to get everything done.

Today has not been so productive, which is party my fault and partly out of my control. I have spent too much time on the internet plus hubby and I watched the first episode of The Biggest Loser while we were eating lunch. There's nothing like watching people eat greasy food and reap the results to prevent me from going back for seconds (even of my fairly healthy food)!

But, hubby's phone has been ringing all day long with clients and coworkers calling. When that happens, I have to be quiet and there goes most of my housework! At least I was able to fold all of the laundry. Now I need to finish washing the dishes and start making dinner.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What's On My Nightstand - October

What's On Your Nightstand I've read quite a bit this month but most of the books are more challenging than my normal reading. Thus, I've not read quite as many titles. I have a feel October will be like that as well.

This is what I'm going to attempt in October, but I know I will not complete all of these.

These are not all of my books. The open book is my husbands as he is learning C#. No idea what that is, but he calls it "light reading!" He also has a couple of other art and computer books in that stack, so I'm not completely insane!

My priority books:
The Importance of Being Earnest - I have seen two movie adaptations of this play and I loved them both. It's time I read the play!

How to Read and Why - I've read How to Read a Book and I've heard How to Read and Why is also very good.

The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome - I don't plan on reading this entire book, but I do want to start it. Even though I progressed through the normal history classes in elementary and high school, plus another year or so in college, I feel ignorant. I want to match up Biblical history with the rest of the world, to gain an idea of what else is going on during the time of Abraham, David, and Christ. I want to put the Bible in context!

Monday, September 27, 2010

First day back at work!

I'm so excited to be "back" from vacation, though I didn't leave the city. I took a break from almost everything productive for an entire week. Very little cleaning or laundry, no Japanese, no shopping, nothing. It was nice but by Thursday morning I was actually starting to miss a nice clean house!

Now I have tons to do to catch back up. Today I exercised, studied Japanese for an hour, ran a load of dishes (still more to do), washed and dried 2 loads of laundry (I have a huge pile to iron), and caught up on some emails that desperately needed to be sent.

Tomorrow I'll be finishing up the kitchen, ironing a LOT of clothes, and whatever else I have time for. I know I'm not going to catch up in one day as it took more than one day to make a mess. But it's nice to see some progress being made!

I've resolved that next time we take time off from work, I'll spend an hour a day to keep the very basics of cleaning up to date. Yup.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mid vacation update

Before my husband's vacation started, I thought I would want to be productive this week as normal. Ha! I'm not used to taking vacations. When I worked full time, I would take two vacations a year, each one a full week long. During that week, I was a full time housewife! Those week long vacations were a chance for me to make great meals, scrub the house from top to bottom, and catch up on things I didn't normally have time to do. I've never just stayed home and relaxed.

Hubby encouraged me to take a vacation with him. So far I've done grocery shopping and we took the car in for some maintenance work. That's it! I'm not staying on top of the dishes, I'm not doing regular housework, and I haven't studied a single minute of Japanese this week. It's very weird! I'm behind in my email correspondence and this is the first blog post I've written in almost a week. I'm actually taking a vacation.

We're not doing much. I've been exercising like normal, training for a 5k on Thanksgiving. I've also been finishing a few books on my to-read list and have spent hours talking to my mom. Hubby and I have played a couple board games, watched a couple movies, and just relaxed! It does feel like we're farther along in the week than Tuesday so I might find myself being productive later this week. We'll see! I know I have to do a couple loads of laundry tomorrow as the basket is overflowing. Other than that, I plan on doing very little!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Jesus You Can't Ignore - A Book Review

I received The Jesus You Can't Ignore (John MacArthur) awhile ago for review but it took me weeks to finish it. There is so much information packed into the book that I kept stopping to take notes or ponder what had been written.

The introduction states why this book is so important.

"Of all the things you might ever study or reflect on, nothing could possibly be greater than God. So your view of Him automatically has more far-reaching ramifications than anything else in your belief system. What you think of God will automatically color how you think about everything else - especially how you prioritize values; how you determine right and wrong; and what you think of your own place in the universe. That in turn will surely determine how you act" (xvii-xviii, emphasis his).

With this view in mind, that our beliefs about God have the farthest reaching ramifications in our lives, it is very important to have an accurate picture of Christ. This book tackles a side of Christ not often portrayed, presented by the subtitle what you must learn from the bold confrontations of Christ.

Chapter 1 is titled "When It's Wrong to be 'Nice.'" This chapter covers why Christ had so many confrontations with the Pharisees. During Christ's ministry, not much is said about political power. Instead, Christ attacks the religious power of the day. MacArthur writes about the Pharisees: "Their religion was their whole life. It even took precedence over God Himself" (10). The Pharisees were teaching that their views of religion had more authority than God Himself. MacArthur warns that:

"Enemies of the gospel have always been (and still are) most formidable when they are religious. The more successful they are at convincing people they are within the circle of orthodoxy, the more effective they will be at undermining the truth. The more deeply they can infiltrate the community of true believers, the more damage they can do with their lies. The closer they can get to the sheep and gain their trust, the more easily they can devour the flock" (13-14).

I can't even begin to cover the depth of material presented about Christ's ministry and how He dealt with those who opposed Him. Instead, I'm going to share two more quotes that really spoke to me.

Toward the end of the book, MacArthur says:

"That's why Jesus' preaching heads the list of things that make Him impossible to ignore. No preacher has ever been more bold, prophetic, or provocative. No style of public ministry could possibly be more irksome to those who prefer a comfortable religion. Jesus makes it impossible for any hearer to walk away indifferent. Some left angry; some were deeply troubled by what He had to say; many had their eyes opened; and many more hardened their hearts against His message. Some became His disciples, and others became His adversaries. But no one who listened to Him preach for very long could possibly remain unchanged or apathetic" (162).

The book concludes by sharing this advice:

"If Christ Himself devoted so much of His time and energy during His earthly ministry to the task of confronting and refuting false teachers, surely that must be high on our agenda as well. His style of ministry ought to be the model for ours, and His zeal against false religion ought to fill our hearts and minds as well" (208).

This book is worth the time to read and really contemplate the image of Christ that is presented. The image of God presented here does not jive with the image that is commonly presented, of a meek and mild Christ who only spoke words of love. One reading is not enough; I want to set this book down for awhile, then return to it later to study it in depth.

Disclaimer - I did receive a free copy of this book from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vacation countdown: V minus 3 days

I have so many things I want to post about but I can't put together a coherent thought to save my life! Hubby has three crazy days of work left and then Vacation Time! We are both extremely excited.

Hubby will be spending the majority of the next three days in the office so it'll be quiet around here. I'm going to try to muster a bunch of energy and have the house spotless before Friday afternoon so that we can relax when he gets off work that day. That's the plan, at least!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have a feeling life is not going to slow down for a few days. We were away from home most of Sabbath and didn't even get to attend church (missed a couple exits on the freeway and ended up the wrong side of town). I spent all day Sunday with my mom.

Hubby worked all day yesterday and a good portion of last night. Then he was on the go today. He's sleeping now but will be up at 10pm to work all night tonight as well. He's guessing this will be a very busy work week.

It's a good thing he's scheduled for vacation all of next week! I'll probably be taking a small vacation from some of my normal duties as well so that we can spend time together. I haven't been seeing him much lately.

This afternoon I tagged along with my hubby on the way to his client appointment. He dropped me off at the library, since it was right around the corner from the client's office. I spent two blissful hours in the library and brought home a HUGE stack of books. I know I won't finish all of these but I'm so happy to have options!

On the way home, we saw a homeless guy on our freeway exit. He couldn't have been more than 21 or 22 years old. I wanted to bring him home and give him a place to stay for awhile but hubby's not comfortable with people knowing where we live when we don't know them. I know it's important to be safe, since I'm a housewife, but it broke my heart to see that kid standing there. It's not fair! There shouldn't be homeless people in this country.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random thoughts

Today has been an awesome day. My bathroom was clean before 8am. Usually I put it off until the last minute. I did 15 sit ups this morning (wimpy, I know, but better than Wednesday's attempt). I am ready for the Sabbath - dishes washed, dishwasher emptied for tonight and tomorrow's dishes, and church clothes ironed.

My menu for next week is planned. I still have to create the shopping list, but that should be pretty simple as we have most of the what is needed.

Hubby took me to the library this afternoon. I love libraries! I found a couple books on archeology, a fiction book that's been on my to-read list for awhile, and a book on vegan baking. When I opened the book, the first recipe I saw was for vegan waffles and it required no unusual ingredients. Score! Hubby also picked out several books for me to read - one on Mark Twain, one on Mozart, and another on a Chinese duchess(?). All three books are chunksters (over 450 pages) and will take me weeks to read.

We also made a quick run to the grocery store tonight to pick up bananas and avocado. We came home with bananas, avocado, vegan ice cream, spring rolls, and a new brand of frozen waffles that were on sale. My hubby speaks my love language - food!

I hope everyone is having a great Friday and will have an even better weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Quilt Design - Help me pick one? :)

Today I finished cutting out my red paw prints fabric. I had fun laying out all the squares on the floor and envisioning what the entire quilt top will look like. For some reason, Bruno always decides to come help! Today our other cat laid down on the blocks as well but she didn't stay long enough for me to get her in the picture.

When I laid all the squares out, I realized that I needed to sew together some more of the four part blocks. Since I've been working on this quilt since April (off and on), I couldn't remember if I knew I needed to make more blocks or if I thought I had made enough. Either way, I'm short.

I have a ton of the 8" squares. If I use all of those, I only need to make a few more of the four block squares. The blank spots in each photo are where the four block squares will go. What do you think? Which design do you think looks better?

Option 1 - as viewed from the bottom of the quilt

Option 1 - as viewed from the top of the quilt

Option 2 - as viewed from the bottom of the quilt

Option 2 - as viewed from the top of the quilt

Option 2 will be the easiest to complete as I would be using all of the solid 8" blocks I already have cut, plus make a few more of the 4 square blocks. I don't mind doing extra work and going with option 1 if that will look the best. I'm just afraid option 1 will look too busy with all of the smaller squares (think top 2 rows repeated all the way down) as opposed to the larger solid pieces in option 2.

I just can't decide! Which one do you think is the better design?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New swimming suit

Hubby and I were not expecting a long weekend as he was originally scheduled to work on Labor Day. However, at the last minute, the boss realized it was a holiday weekend and everything was rescheduled. So, we decided to take advantage of Labor Day sales and replace a good portion of hubby's work attire.

As a unexpected benefit to all of our shopping, I found a new swimming suit! I have lost 45 pounds since the beginning of 2009. My old swimming suit was purchased at my highest weight and I realized this weekend how much I've shrunk out of it.

I spotted this cute swimming suit as we walked into Macy's. My old swimming suit made me feel immodest even though it was a standard 1-piece. This swimming suit is like wearing a little dress and makes me feel much more covered.

I was rather shocked by the sticker price. That tiny amount of Lycra retailed for $98! It had been marked down to $73.50, then $49. Yesterday's final sticker price was $29.99. Much better!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Building Habits - Week 3

My habit building is still going well. A couple evenings this week the dishes were only completed because I didn't want to confess I was lazy. Oh well! I'm not really noticing much of a difference with the cat boxes being cleaned every day but the clean dishes... that is a blessing. It feels so good to walk into the kitchen and see that the counters are clean and that the sink is empty.

This week I am going to continue working on building my previous habits plus add one more. I really need to start flossing daily. I don't know if it's better to floss in the morning or the evening but I'm going to pick mornings because my motivation is higher earlier in the day. My next dental cleaning is the day before Thanksgiving so I have added incentive to establish a good flossing habit.

Habit #1 - All dishes washed, every day.
Habit #2 - Both cat boxes cleaned every morning.
Habit #3 - Daily flossing.

Accountability really is a useful tool.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Another set of squares

My days are starting to get into a pretty good routine. Now that the apartment is basically clean, daily chores don't take nearly so long. I'm finding I have extra time for reading, quilting, and snatches of quality time with my hubby between his client calls.

I wish I could work on my quilting more, but the injury from my car accident keeps flaring up. Several years ago, I was hit while sitting at a stop light. The other driver didn't realize the light was red and slammed into the back of another car, which then slammed into me. The police estimated the driver at fault was going 45 mph when she hit us. My car was totaled and I have permanent damage to my shoulder. Leaning over a rotary board or sitting perfectly still at a sewing machine for awhile causes my shoulder muscles to start feeling like they are on fire.

At least when the accident occurred, I had just made the payment on my car that flipped it right side up so I wasn't left with financing and no car!

Today I was able to cut out all of the squares on my tan fabric. All that's left is to cut out squares from the red doggy paws fabric and then I can start sewing it all together! Hopefully I'll get to start on that tomorrow, provided I'm ready for the Sabbath on time.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

National Sewing Month

I didn't know that September is National Sewing Month until a promotional email from Jo-Ann's Fabric hit my inbox several days ago. According to the holiday's official website it "began in 1982 with a proclamation from President Ronald Reagan declaring September as National Sewing Month 'In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation.'"

How exciting! A quick Google search revealed numerous websites hosting National Sewing Month projects with free templates and instructions.

Also, several websites are hosting huge giveaways. I am most interested in this giveaway, hosted by Jo-Ann's and Martha Stewart. You can enter the drawing daily and there are some really great prizes! I'd love to win a Rowenta iron or a gift card or even a new sewing machine!

In honor of National Sewing Month, I'm going to make a commitment to finishing my grandfather's quilt top. Once that is complete, I'll try to also finish the quilt top that I need to return to the church. And if there is extra time after that (HA!) I'll make the cloth napkins I've already purchased fabric for.