Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prayer is so Cool!

Last night I took Bear to knitting circle with me as I usually do. Our knitting circle is held at the library (for those of you who've never seen it, the Pelican Public Library is about 1000 square feet, and has a nice little children's section with toys for small ones like Bear). It's roughly the equivalent of two blocks to the library from our apartment, so I held Bear's hand and let him walk (rather than putting him in the carrier). This means he wore shoes.
[cue ominous music...]
We ladies were chatting away and Bear was playing happily when I noticed one of his shoes sitting on the floor near me. No worries, I just set it on the table next to my yarn. A minute later someone said "oh, he's taking off the other shoe" and again I didn't worry, figuring he'd leave it right there on the floor...only he didn't.
When the time came to go, I went to get the second shoe and it was nowhere to be seen. I crawled literally through the entire library looking under shelves and behind chairs trying to find it. We checked through everyone's knitting bags to see if he'd dropped it in there. (Bear, not to be left out, got on his hands and knees and peered under shelves with us. When I asked him if he knew where his shoe was he said "shooo!" and ran and grabbed the one from the table!) 20 minutes of hunting yielded no shoe, and I was literally out of places to look. So I did what I should have done in the first place: I sat down and whispered up a prayer for help. Then I sat very still and tried to open my mind for answers. I re-searched in several places I'd already been, but at one point I sat up (rather than crouching over) and out of the corner of my eye, there it was: tucked into the upper part of a folded folding chair which was stacked by the wall in the corner by the copy machine. This was a place where it could have gone unnoticed for months or years (the extra chairs are rarely used).
Thank You Heavenly Father! I know that prayers are always answered, but it's always a nice little spiritual boost to have an immediate and obvious answer like that!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Caring for Cloth Pads

Several commenters asked about some more specifics on caring for cloth pads... I apologize for taking so long in responding to this.
First of all, if you happen to use cloth diapers, you can throw the pads in with them and wash them in the same ways. Simple!
For those who don't have a cloth diapered heiny in the house, I'll run through the basics of cloth menstrual pad care. There are several basic parts (numbered), and several extra, optional steps (in italics) feel free to use these recommendations as you prefer.
1--after use, I rinse the pad out in the sink with hot or warm water, then place soiled pads in cold water in a container with a lid. Most women keep a small tupperware or ceramic pot under the sink or on the back of the toilet. So long as it has a lid, it will not smell. (Some ladies like to put tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, hydrogen peroxide, oxy clean, vinegar, or a little soap in with the water.) If you are out and about, just put the pad in a waterproof bag or pouch, and put it in the water when you get home.
2--refresh water once a day to prevent odor.
3--wash on hot (some ladies swear it has to be cold to prevent staining, but I have never had problems), rinse at any temperature, dry in drier (or hang dry). Do not use any type of fabric softener.
4--if, somehow, something did get stained, let it soak in hydrogen peroxide or oxy-clean for a few hours. It'll come out (at least, it always has for me!)

Pretty simple, huh?

A while ago I saw a pattern for a washable knitted tampon. It was brilliant--it rolled up for use, unrolled for washing, and was knit in pretty cotton colors. I am thinking of doing some experimenting to try to create some for my shop, but I am in no hurry. I (like many others who prefer internal menstrual protection), have a menstrual cup. (I like the diva cup, though there are several brands out there.) I'll write about cups sometime soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last Meals

What's your favorite food or meal? And can you post a recipe of it?

I read an article a few months ago about last meals. The author commented that there are two kinds of people who spend any time thinking about what they want for their final meal: prisoners on death row, and chefs. He then went on to write an interesting article about how almost everyone he interviewed chose some sort of comfort food as their perfect (or final) meal.
The article got me thinking--if I knew I were going to die tomorrow, what would I want for dinner tonight? It didn't take me very long to figure it out:
Grilled chicken alfredo with bacon, tomatoes, artichokes, garlic and peas.
I guess I'll have to post a recipe on my cooking blog, although it's just a simple homemade alfredo sauce with lots of things thrown in. I would say that the simplicity and ease of it is part of why I like it, except that when I'm at a restaurant with a menu full of elaborate options (none of which I have to make) I STILL almost always end up ordering something like it.
I also adore apple pie, *cardamom bread, homemade fruit smoothies (I think strawberry-peach is my favorite), and those brownies I mentioned the other day.

*cardamom bread is a scandinavian Christmas tradition. I'll post the recipe when it's seasonally applicable.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

What's your favorite animal? I'm generally fond of mammals, especially the pretty predators...wolves, bears, leopards...if you want me to pick one specific animal to adore though, then without question it's my doggie, Koira.
What's your favorite fiction book? (or top 2-3, if you can't pick one) see below
What music do you like listening to? as a genre, I generally prefer mainstream 'contemporary christian,' and I'm also fond of Broadway soundtracks (except for Rogers and Hammerstein which I strongly dislike)...but beyond that, see below for specifics

Months ago I had the idea that I would list off my ‘top ten’ in a few areas...books, movies, songs, etc., but that is harder than it seems. In some areas many options come to mind, in others, I can only think of a few…thus my lists don’t have a finite number of entries, but these are a few of my favorite things. Consider it a work on progress!
Even without parameters (such as coming up with a certain number of entries per category) it’s really hard to try to create lists of my favorites…different things have been significant at different time of my life, and I may have forgotten negative aspects of this movie or that book…but I am going to give this my best shot anyway. I think it’s very telling about a person to see what media they choose and recommend. The entries on these lists are not in any particular order. I’m not trying to say that one is better than another per se, just that these are my favorites…in the movies, for example, some are childhood favorites, while others are more adult…apples to oranges love, you can’t really put that in order. ☺
In creating lists of my favorite things, I have been thinking about WHY I like a thing. What are my criteria? Well, I like a well told story. I like a beautiful dance. I like things that make me think, and things that make me remember. I like things that help me forget. And I like things that make me laugh.
So, without further ado, another brief glimpse into my psyche...

I Am Sam
The Dark Crystal
Life is Beautiful
The Fellowship of the Ring (not the whole trilogy, just the first film)
Dead Poets Society

Les Miserables
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Jekyll & Hyde by Bricusse & Wildhorne
The Man of La Mancha
Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespear
Othello by Shakespeare

ACTORS AND ACTRESSES (in other words, if they're in it, I probably want to watch it)
Katherine Hepburn
Nicholas Cage
Robin Williams
Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers (together, obviously!)
Johnny Depp (unless it's a Tim Burton movie, as I dislike most Burton stuff)
Sean Connery (usually)

NONFICTION BOOKS (scripture is assumed, and so not listed)
Birthing From Within by Pam Englund (pregnancy, birth, fertility, working through issues)
Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler (fertility)
Luna Yoga by Adelheid Ohlig (getting in touch with your reproductive/fertile side)
Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka (parenting)
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (nutrition + a cookbook)
The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley (attachment parenting)
Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin (marriage)

The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis
Phantom by Susan Kay (an adult book, but oh so riveting!)
The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
Many Moons by James Thurber (children's book)
The Giver by Lois Lowry

Ozymandius by Percy Bysse Shelly
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Shakespeare (duh!)
CS Lewis
The Apostle Paul
Oscar Wilde
John Donne

Andrea Bocelli (singer)
Grieg (composer)
Enya (composer, musician, singer)
Howard Shore (composer--wrote the music for "The Lord of the Rings")
The Indigo Girls (composers, singers--I love the tight harmonies, counterpoints, and intelligent cultural references)
Michael W Smith (composer, singer)

Be Still My Soul
Teach Me to Walk in the Light
All Creatures of Our God and King
Nearer My God to Thee
How Great Thou Art
I Believe in Christ

Bolaro by Ravel
Canon in D by Pachelbel
18th Variation (on a theme by Paganini) by Rachmaninoff

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Inside My Weird Little Mind

What's the first thing you check on the computer after you turn it on?
I open several windows at once: usually blogger, email, and the NaturalLDSLiving forums. Sometimes etsy too, especially if I'm in the middle of a custom order or something like that. It's very rare for me to only have one window open at a time.

What are 3 of your pet peeves?
*Rude smokers
*People who complain a lot, or who ask for advice but then refuse to follow it
*Calling the facilities "the bathroom." Really, I'm not going in there to take a bath and we all know it! In Canada they call it a "washroom." I guess that's a step up, because I will be washing in there...but first I'm going to relieve myself. I appreciate that calling it "the pooroom" feels rude, even if it's accurate, but surely there must be a better option than BATHroom?! The British sensibly call it a "Loo" and I'm partial to that term myself--it's short and simple without any hoity toity pretences. In France and most of the rest of Europe they just face facts and call it "The Toilet." (Hey Kate or Lynnette, what do they call it Down Under?)

What's your favorite thing to splurge on?
Define 'splurge.' In college it was buying myself a $2 bottle of nail polish. Until we moved out here it was getting a (virgin) daquari and dessert when we went out to dinner. Right now it's probably making (and eating) far too many of my favorite brownies. There's not much to buy here!

What's your least favorite chore?
Oh man, that's so easy: cleaning the toilet. I HATE cleaning the toilet. Is there anyone who doesn't hate cleaning the toilet?! I also dispise dusting. I get tired of doing dishes and sometimes of doing laundry, but I don't hate them the way I do dusting and toilets.
I'm surprised you didn't ask my favorite chore! That's at least as interesting! I love sweeping! I like it because I can see the pile of dirt (and dog hair) and I can see that I'm accomplishing something. I also may or may not have been known to enjoy certain mending projects...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Talents and Skills

What do you consider your talents to be?
I definitely have a knack with hair--I've always had mine pretty long, and I've been able to do lots of interesting things with it.
I think I have a gift with sewing and design--I am able to look at a pattern and a bolt of fabric and visualize what it will look like when it's all sewn up. I am able to make alterations and 'frankenpatterns' by combining the elements from multiple patterns to create what I want.
I have a good singing voice, although it hasn't been used to its potential in some time.
I am a good dancer (with a preference for ballroom) but again, I haven't done much with that since college. I do miss dancing a lot.

What do you think is your biggest weakness?
I'm hyper-critical--both of myself and of others. I usually keep my mouth shut about the other people, but my perfectionism about myself can get ugly.

What do you think is your greatest strength?
I'm very loyal to the people I love. I also have a lot of faith and optimism--I get down sometimes but even then I usually seem to be able to see the bigger picture and all that.

If you could learn any one skill right this very instant, what would it be?
Really, if I want to learn something, I usually just get to work and learn it. I sew, knit, quilt, do hair, cook, bake pies, decorate cakes, can fruit, dance, sing, read music, play with kids, type really fast, act in plays, write stuff that isn't too dull... Off the top of my head, I can only think of one thing I kinda want to learn better, and that's piano. I know the how of it, I just haven't put the time into it to get very good. I'm a slow one-finger-player.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is Not a Credit Card Ad

1 moby wrap

materials for 2 ring slings

fabric for 1 pouch
(ears $3)

materials for 1 structured carrier

1 Bernina 1008 sewing machine
$598 (on sale!)

wearing my baby everywhere

There are some things money can't buy...
...for everything else, well, this isn't a credit card ad, but I couldn't pass up the format for a chance to talk about something that I find truly priceless.

Super Mommy Bee!

What superpower would you want most?
Ahh, you must know I've been watching Heroes this summer, so superpowers are very much on my mind.
It's a hard call, you know? There are so many cool options: mind-reading, healing/regeneration, walking through stuff, telekenisis, flying, invisibility, persuasion (being able to talk anybody into anything), breaking the time/space continuum (hey, a gold star for anyone who can give me another word with a double U in it!)...
I know I don't need super hearing, super strength, laser eyes, or the ability to blow stuff up. Super speed would have it's uses for a mommy, as would the stretchy-skills of Mr Fantastic (or Elastigirl, but hey, Mr F came first).
Just the other day I thought of a great mommy super power: the ability to always know when one of my kids needed to go to the potty. How great would that be? I mean, toilet training would be a breeze, and we'd never have dirty underpants or wet beds. Even the wait-till-the-last-possible-nanosecond-to-sprint-for-the-bathroom syndrome would be nipped in the bud if mom knew to tell the child to go.
I can think of some other great mommy superpowers, like the ability to make everyone always tell me the truth, or to know precisely when it was going to rain (so I could plan my walks around it).
Frankly, I think that the superpower I DO have (making milk) is pretty darn groovy. But I know that's not in the spirit of the question...
...and in the spirit of the question, unoriginal as this answer is, I think I have to go with teleporting.

(Pssst, Did you think of another double U word? The only one I can think of is vacuum. Weird lookin words though, aren't they? Continuum and vacuum?!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Questionable Birthday

Alrighty, I promised I'd answer your questions, so here we go! I'm going to take this in sections, just for the sheer practicality of it.

Today I'm taking on the random stuff that doesn't go with anything else

Would you rather be too hot or too cold? Why? Given the choice, I'd rather be too cold. When it's cold, you can always put on another layer of clothing or blankets, when it's too hot, well, there comes a point where you can no longer take anything off.

Please share one embarrassing moment you've had in your life. You know, I know I must have some whoppers. It's odd though, because whenever I try to think of one to tell, there is only one I can remember. I was 11, and at a friend's birthday party. I knew her from band, but most of her other friends were from her church group, so they all knew each other, while I knew no one. I was pretty shy to boot. We were standing around the back yard eating dinner, and (if I recall correctly) someone went to get another hot dog. Someone else asked "is that your second or third?" and she said "second." The questioner said "oh good, cuz otherwise you would be..." She left it hanging...and I blurted out "fat!" (For what it's worth, the girl in question was not heavy at all...) I was mortified, although I think everyone else forgot quickly, I felt like an outsider the rest of the night.

Who pays the bills in your house? Hubby earns the money and I write the checks (or, more realistically, click the mouse to make the online payments).

What is the meaning of life? Well, the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42. C'mon, if you're a friend of mine surely you know that! On a more serious note, I believe that the purpose of life is to learn to love and be unselfish; to learn to control (or cast out) the selfish, sinful parts of ourselves, and to love our fellow man. And the meaning? Well, honestly, I'm not sure I know how to define that. But perhaps I have roughly answered what you meant?

Do you live in the moment? Sometimes. I am an over-planner to a fault (and I still forget things more often than I'd like to admit). I prefer things to be planned, and actually often struggle with spontaneity. This has been a point of some frustration for Hubby because he likes to be very spontaneous...we have been able to find a middle ground by planning to be spontaneous! For example, I'll plan a date for Friday night at 5 and get a babysitter arranged...but when Friday rolls around we do whatever pops into his head at the moment. That said, while I don't usually ACT in the moment, I do APPRECIATE the little moments in life all the time...the faces of my children sleeping, Wolf's giggle, Bear's dancing, the perfect brownie...yes, I DO enjoy the little moments.

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be? Scandinavia (specifically Norway and Sweden), because I've already been to London, Rome, Switzerland and Germany, which were my other top places to go.

Have you ever had a real-life meeting of someone you only knew through the internet? Yes. My husband. Although I've told that here before. Also about 20 other people, most recently I met someone last week.

Do you have regrets? Not truly. Little moments where I think about the 'what-ifs'? Sure. But no real regrets. Some parts of my life have not gone the way I might have imagined or planned, but I don't have regrets about what I have done with the time I've been given. Carpe Diem!

What do you think is the most important movie made in your lifetime. Dang, that is a hard question! The most important movie for me as a person? Or for society? And it has to have been made in my lifetime? You realize that rules out a LOT of great films, right? Well, I guess I should start with what I think makes a movie important...I don't think it's about movie stars or plot lines or popularity; I think it's about making change in either the feelings or actions of the viewers. I think a number of recent war movies qualify as important for that reason, and I'm going to pick the one that moves me every time I see it: Life is Beautiful (which I prefer in the original Italian with subtitles, rather than dubbed.) Movies have the ability to remind us of where we have been and what we have done, but also what we are capable of. Life is Beautiful does all three, and I love the message that no matter where we are, or what happens to us, we can still choose how we respond to it.

Well, that was insightful, don't you think? Don't worry, over the coming week or so I will get to all the other questions!

(two brownie points if you can point out the two movies/books I quoted, or, at least referenced, since I didn't quote either one exactly)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Truth About Flossing

Well, the results are in. 26 people voted, so I'm thinking that's a decent slice of the planet, right? Clearly this sample should be an accurate indication of the population as a whole!
And the numbers are
[drumroll please!]
50% brush first and floss second
35% floss first and brush second
15% [gasp!] don't floss at all
Of course, a number of people hastened to comment that they have an extra little brushing at the end, or a substantial swish (or two) at various points in the process, and that I have over-simplified the matter. Be that as it may, I think the evidence is clear: 1 in 6 people ignores their dentist's recommendations on flossing!
On the one hand, I guess I 'win' because I'm in the 'brush first floss second' party, on the other hand (as two commenters pointed out), they brush first because that's essential, and then they floss second if they get to other words, the order is not about effectiveness, but about the reality of often being interrupted or distracted or collapsing from sheer exhaustion before the job can be completed. Not very solid support on the whole brushing first thing after all, is it.
So, the real point here is, kudos to the 85% of you who floss with some regularity...and for the rest of you, well, I have sad experience with the fillings that follow non-flossing. I recommend starting the habit immediately.

For what it's worth, I had so much fun with that whole polling thing, I'll have to think of something else to poll about! Any suggestions?!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mormon Mommy Blogs

First of all, I just have to say...who would have guessed that a post about flossing would get more comments than almost any I've ever posted?! Crazy!!

So, I went over and signed up on the Mormon Mommy Bloglist. Sue started it, and I figure there are a lot of mormon mommies with high heels, perfect makeup and layered hair, there needs to be one with unshaven legs and cloth-diaper-wearing kids who lives in the backwoods of Alaska.
So I'm on her list now, and to be on her list, I have to add her list to my blogroll. Hey, no sweat.
(By the way, if you're a faithful reader here, and I've lost your link from my blogroll in one of the many changeovers...leave me a comment, ok? I'm stuck with Hubby's computer this week, and I don't have my favorites list, and I realize that I really just need to keep everybody on my blogroll rather than in my favorites...lookout marge, we're growing the list again. :) )
SO, my fellow Crunchy Mormon Mommies, go get yourselves added to the list! That blogroll needs a few more hippies on it I think.
(By the way, if you're not LDS, but are a mommy blogger, you can sign up in the "mormon friendly" ie--PG rated section...if you want...I don't know if you'd want to but you can, just so you don't feel left out or anything...)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ask Anything!

One day when I was student teaching, I had 5 minutes left at the end of class. So I opened the floor to the students and told them I would answer any question they asked me. First they asked my first name, second they asked if they could call me that. I eventually did this with all my classes and those were always the first questions. They also asked what kind of car I drove, whether I had a boyfriend, and how much I got paid to teach them (when they learned that I was paying to be there, one student said "oh, wow, I'm going to be a lot nicer to you now!") It was fun for everybody. Hubby does this with his classes too--he promises to answer any question they ask (he does not promise to give accurate answers!)
So, in the spirit of fun, and because it's almost my birthday, I've decided to offer the floor to you, my readers (even though one of you is my sister and one is a former roommate and one of you is my husband and one is my neighbor...) You can ask me anything you like, and I promise I will answer them all. As a general rule, I promise to answer truthfully...although I do reserve the right to give a snarky answer if you ask me some random science question or something. I also reserve the right to not divulge the privacy of my children...but I think you already knew that. ☺ But feel free to ask me about me, my life, my thoughts, my home... Just leave a comment on this post.
I'll answer them all in a post on my birthday in a week.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On Flossing

So, each night when Hubby and I brush our teeth, we have a disagreement. One of us brushes then flosses...the other flosses then brushes.
He says I am weird and that I do it backwards. He says his way is more effective and I should switch.
Of course, I feel the same of him and his routine.
I have concluded that it is only 'backwards' if the majority does it the other way, therefore I aim to solve this matter scientifically by posting a poll here on my blog. See, there it is ------------->
Please put your answer on my poll, and we shall see which of us is really backwards!
(And yes, once the official 'right' way is determined, I promise to tell you which of us is 'right' and which is 'backwards'!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Own up to it!

If you want to leave a comment, be willing to say who you are, ok?
I am no longer going to publish anonymous comments. I think it's annoying and rude to leave a comment without even being willing to say who you are.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Junk Mail

Yesterday we got home from six weeks on the road; last night I tackled the pile of mail. Oh boy. I always knew junk mail was annoying, but let me tell you, six weeks worth of it is a great indicator of just how MUCH junk gets mailed to me.
Here's the thing: much of it isn't default 'junk' (you know, advertising and that sort of thing), but it is stuff that I don't need mailed to me, and I think at least one or two trees died needlessly for me to get all this paper in my box.
I don't need catalogs sent to me--everybody has an online catalog, and since I'll almost certainly order there (if I order), I might as well browse there too. On the other hand, just because I once ordered something from a company does not mean that I want to continue receiving their catalog for the rest of eternity.
I don't need coupons sent to me. Just put stuff on sale (or don't) but what is it with this whole stupid coupon thing. If we could eradicate the world of coupons I think we'd all be a little happier...the people and the trees (and the landfills!)
I don't need paper bills sent to me--I pay online (don't need return slips) and I check balances online as well, so there again, no need for paper.
I don't need bank statements sent to me--the internet is marvelous.
I don't need checks--please send me money, but direct deposit saves time, trouble, effort, and, oh yes, does a little bit to save the world.

So, today's STW tip is to make an effort to reduce the paper in your life! Sign up for paperless billing wherever possible. Get yourself on the 'no contact' or 'opt-out' lists so that you won't get all the pre-approved offers for credit cards and car insurance. Contact the companies who are sending you catalogs you don't want and get OFF their mailing lists rather than on them. Sign this petition to support creation of a 'do not mail' service in the USA (much like the 'do not call' one we already have).
Pay your bills online. Use a debit card instead of a check. Send emails--not lame forwards (and trust me, forwards are always lame)--but send real letters, personal missives, via email. Or just call people! Make your life a little more about people, and a little less about paper and stuff. (Eww, stuff!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins

No, not those seven deadly sins, my seven deadly sins. You know, the stuff I do even though I know I probably shouldn't...the stuff that may, in fact, literally kill me? That stuff.

1) reading while walking (have you ever walked into a river because you had your nose in a book? me neither, but I did miss the bridge once and step onto the grass!)
2) staying up too late (usually doing stupid stuff, like dinking around online watching forums for new posts, even though everyone else I know is several time zones ahead of me and has already gone to bed)
3) eating while driving
4) talking with food in my mouth (and also driving or not driving...)
5) even-ing desserts (I'll have to post a photo...I don't really eat whole pieces, I just take a little snitch, and then I even the edge, and then even some more, and some more...)
6) speaking my mind, with or without tact
7) blogging (see #2, 5, and 6 for details)

At least I don't ever EVER talk on the phone while driving. I refuse--even when I had a cell phone.

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