el's rabbit trails, family life, Homemaking stuff, Kitchen tips, Life hacks

Friday Frivolities 14: Getting it done.

This week was a productive one, which I needed. Getting onto a regular schedule where things get done -at least the way I am used to getting them done- has been a challenge since the we enrolled in a program to supplement our home school curriculum. The interruption from Hurricane Irma was also a derailing factor.

The school workload, particularly for our 11-year-old, is much heavier this year,  requiring more one on one time with her. It’s been a great experience so far, and we are getting acquainted with some phenomenal families, but it’s still an adjustment. In particular, being out of the house twice a week requires better time usage at home.

As I was contemplating these things I ran across a book in -where else?- our local library. The book is The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the age of Information Overload.

I wasn’t 100 pages in when I was inspired to reorganize spaces in our house which were long overdue for an overhaul. The less time I spend looking for things that should be easy to find, the easier it is to stay on task. I got the master bath done this week, overhauled the schedules to accommodate our new commitments, and reorganized the pantry.

Ignore the microwave popcorn…

With two spaces down, and at least 5 to go before month’s end, I’ve only scratched the surface, but it’s under way. Next up are the baking cabinets, storage container cabinet, and linen closet. This, even though I just did the linen closet a few weeks ago. Funny, that.

We’re still on our Whole 30 reset, which went uninterrupted because we miraculously never lost power during Hurricane Irma. For some reason, this past week I got a real hankering for some mozzarella, which is of course off limits on Whole 30. So I made a vegan, fake substitute from this recipe I found at The Minimalist Baler. The food crowd in our house is a tough crowd, and everyone gave the “cheese” a thumbs up for mouth feel and close enough flavor. I am very proud. I didn’t think to take pictures.

The general idea here is to get a lot of things under way in time to switch to holiday shopping at the beginning of October. We’ll see how it goes, but evry small hurdle instills confidence for the next one, so I think things are well in hand.

I certainly hope so, since I am considering adding yet another iron to the fire, a freelance gig that, should it work out, will be another ball to juggle but it’ll be an enjoyable one.

And I may be able to pick up my reading pace as an added bonus.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

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el's rabbit trails, family life, Homemaking stuff, just for fun, wife stuff

Friday Frivolities 13: Random moments from the sahm scene.

File this one under “things that made me go hmmm”.

The last ironer in America?

Last week the kids and I were running late getting to “school” so I picked out a no-iron skirt, tank top, and fitted cardigan. Specifically because I didn’t have time to iron. Every where I turned, someone would compliment me, “You look pretty today.” I suspect it’s because the skirt was red. Kinda hard not to notice.

As a few of us were in the kitchen getting coffee (the school building is so quite cold), a few more mothers complimented me, so I said, “And I just grabbed the first thing I could find that I didn’t need to iron.” From there we were off to the races:

“You iron? I can’t remember the last time I ironed!” “I didn’t know anyone ironed anymore!” Several other women shared with me their tips for doing laundry in a way that keeps them from ever having to iron.

Thing is, I iron almost every day, because my husband’s shirts need to look more professional than they can from dryer heat. But my girls all iron their colthes every day -or every other day- also. It left me wondering: “Are we the last ironers in America?” Please, say it ain’t so.

Even with 4 “chefs” in the house, I still cook.

At church one night this week (it was a night the ministry we volunteer in meets to do our work), a woman asked me a question: “I heard your girls can cook. Since they are still at home, that means you hardly ever have to cook, right?’

“Well”, I told her, “not exactly. I actually still cook quite a bit. I get a couple of nights a week off, but I still cook 4-5 days a week. My husband will eat their cooking (he even likes it most of the time), but he prefers mine, and he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for me to get out of practice.”

She actually concurred with that line of thought, unlike many other women would. But then, she was older. Which brings me to my last unimportant but tangentially related point.

Culinary discretion

Yesterday morning when SAM was leaving for work, he opened his bag, tossed a container with a piece of cake in it on the counter and said to me:

“Toss that out, will you? I keep telling them I don’t eat just anybody’s cooking and they still insist on bringing stuff in for me to taste. I didn’t have time to go through the spiel yesterday, so I just took the cake from her. I guess they figure if they keep trying, I’ll eventually eat something.”

My husband is pickier than most about his food, but he’s not the only person I’ve encountered who is wary of taking food from just anybody. I know a woman who decided from a person’s cleanliness habits at work that she would likely never eat anything she brings in.

I’m wondering what others’ thoughts are on that.

Have a great weekend.

 

 

 

 

family life, real living in a virtual world, wife stuff

Marriage should be a beautiful symphony, not a tug of war.

.Much has been said about the difficult time we Westerners have with the uneasy balance between our ideals and harsh realities. This is true in many areas including our thinking about Christian marriage.

We share with our daughters the principles of Christian marriage by example. Scripture is powerful, but the repeated New Testament commands for us to “one another” makes it clear that quoting verses alone falls short. On a recent walk, my girls and I touched on the blessing -and responsibility- of living in submission to a husband’s authority, and imagined -as that’s really all we can do- the blessing and responsibility of living with the authority of paternal and husbandly headship.

As I took the time to think about the things I read on the matter, the picture which emerges is often sad and adversarial to the point of being toxic. It also stands in stark contrast to my own marital experience. We never fought a lot. The occasional disagrement? Yes, but fighting as a regular occurrence just didn’t happen. The reasons for that were not always the healthiest, but it only took a few short years to get to the point that we realized it is best to deal with disagreements when they arise if the law of love was principal driver.

The headship/submission model, when viewed it as a blessing rather than simply a burden to both parties, is a beautiful interplay between two people who understand the gift that God has given them. As we love, with full understanding of the weight of responsibility and accountability towards God and eah other, our chlldren also benefit

In a world where everyone is clamoring for what they believe is rightfully theirs -authority, respect, validation, and affirmation- children of Christian parents should get to see that these things flow naturally when the law of love, rather than the law of grasping for power or control, rules. It should go without saying (leaving aside extreme cases and eggregous sins) that getting you off your mind and focusing on blessing someone else leads to greater life satisfaction and happiness. However, and I know I say this a lot, nothing goes without saying anymore.

I can’t imagine seeing my husband’s authority as a vicious constraint put on me by an angry God solely to hold me down and keep me in check, but also believe that He has graciously put his spirit in me to guide me into all Truth. Isn’t that contradictory? My husband can’t imagine a life where every single tiny difference of opinion or act that annoys is an attempt to usurp his authority or an attempt to test his fitness so I can decide whether I want to stay or go. If I’m manipulating, and sometimes I fall into that, a swift and sure calling out sets things right quickly enough without thoughts speeding headlong into the notion that I am ripe to file for frivorce.

What kinds of Christians view sex and money in marriage as commodities for which each has traded for in marriage? Where in the New Testament do we see this as a way to approach a relationhip that God has says mirrors the relationship between Jesus our Messiah and His Body? It’s disgusting really, and I am so very thankful for a strong, dominant, yet loving husband who allowed the Spirit to teach him how this thing is supposed to be done.

The result, and trust me on this, is a beautiful interplay between people who know how to love, who respect authority and submission, and still appreciate the unique gifts and talents God has placed in the members of the family to be a blessing to its other members.

So when the man says to me (as he justifiably did quite recently), “Please don’t ever walk out of my house again dressed like that”, it didn’t take long for me to appreciate that he was right to object. I am after all, representative of his glory. The only reason I should be offended by his request is thinking of myself as a free agent representing myself only.

When I suggested that it would be best to wait before embarking on a new household project he is considering, he understood that I wasn’t usurping his authority. Rather, I was doing exactly as he had instructed, keeping record of the accounts as we updated our house over the summer.

If either one of us had been conditioned to see every little question, comment, or slight as a “spit test” on my part or lording of authority on his part, how miserable we would be!

It’s sad that many if not most believing women find the very idea of submission offensive, and that some believing men think headship means any independent thought their wives express is evidence of ftness testing or hypergamy.

For those *teaching* women: You don’t do any favors by telling sincere and well-menaing women that they are vile creatures simply because they display any evidence of being human and that their husband’s less than stellar, but equally human tendencies, are all their fault and that their men would become perfect specimens of godly leadership if only the women would submit right. Talk about manipulation and subversion!

After all…who’s supposed to be leading whom here?

It is so beautiful and comforting when you expect the best of your mate, refusing to assume the worst. Also, as bad a rap as romance gets, it’s kind of romantic and sexy too. And not just for him, thank goodness. God is not trying to make our walk in this life even more difficult than it already is by making enemies of those He gave us to ease our load.

So please…re-examine the Scriptures and your ways of thinking about these things. You’re missing out on SO much if you don’t.

American identity, family life

The nuclear family (alone) option.

This is an interesting bit of history on the roots of the nuclear family. Namely, that the notion was mostly 1) British, and 2) marked by many of the same characteristics that mark family formation in the United States today, hundreds of years after the era used as the springboard for the piece.

Not so long ago, family scholars labored under the assumption, half-Marxist, half-“functionalist,” that before the Industrial Revolution, the extended family was the norm in the Western world. There was more than a little romanticism associated with this view: extended families were imagined to have lived in warm, cohesive rural communities where men and women worked together on farms or in small cottage industries. That way of life, went the thinking, ended when industrialization wrenched rural folk away from their cottages and villages into the teeming, anonymous city, sent men into the factories, and consigned women to domestic drudgery. Worse, by upending the household economy, the Industrial Revolution seriously weakened the family. The nuclear family, it was believed, was evidence of family decline.

The nuclear family was the dominant arrangement in England stretching back to the thirteenth century.

But by the second half of the twentieth century, one by one these assumptions were overturned. First to go was the alleged prevalence of the extended family. Combing through English parish records and other demographic sources, historians like Peter Laslett and Alan MacFarlane discovered that the nuclear family—a mother, father and child(ren) in a “simple house,” as Laslett put it—was the dominant arrangement in England stretching back to the thirteenth century.

Rather than remaining in or marrying into the family home, as was the case in Southern Europe and many parts of Asia and the Middle East, young couples in England were expected to establish their own household. That meant that men and women married later than in other parts of the world, only after they had saved enough money to set up an independent home. By the time they were ready to tie the knot, their own parents were often deceased, making multi-generational households a relative rarity.

As I stop to think about it  for just 2 minutes (I just read the piece),  it makes perfect sense really.  Given that the U.S. was born of British heritage, it should be expected that our family dynamics mirror this.

I am beginning to wonder, however,  if I am too naive. Despite my oft-professed realism, I actually believe there’s a reasonable and sane midpoint. One where the overwhelming importance of the two married parents, father-led home is acknowledged as best for children and society, but which also acknowledges that such an arrangement thrives with  a little help from a village.

Ideally, that village would be extended family, but experience has taught many people that in the absence of shared values with some blood kin, you have to take support where you can get it. Thankfully if we’re fortunate, Christianity can open the door to heart connections with those of like precious faith onto whom we can lean from time to time when we need it.

Having come from a community where historically the extended family has tried -with minimal success to speak of if any- to fill in the gaps of the broken family nucleus with extended family support, it is my belief that if you have to choose one or the other, then the nuclear fmaily is the only viable way to go.

(h/t): Maea, via TPC

 

 

black in a multi-culti world, cultural absurdity, el's rabbit trails, family life

Friday Frivolities 9

Random points, in no particular order, on the fly:

Consumer PSA: After spending a small fortune -two short years ago!- on what we thought was a very nice stainles steel refrigerator from the company which declares that life is good, the thing started warming a week ago. A technician came out, and declared that we have to wait another week for the part because “life is good’s” refrigerator compressors are going out in kitchens all over town. Apparently, it’s a thing. How, I ask, did we miss this, given our propensity to do research before we buy? It occurs to me that we’ve bought two in 15 years whereas both my husband and I spent two decades in our parents’ house and never saw either of our dads have to buy a new fridge.

The cognitive dissonance of feminism: Thinking about the Google guy and the fallout from his so-called manifesto. I am still occasionally struck by how stupid feminism is. That it is inherently misogynistic. Rather than accepting women’s differences from men as just that, and worth celebrating, they themselves view femininity as weakness. They then project their own neuroticism and insecurity with their femininity onto those who dare say out loud that women are indeed different from men. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad, and wasn’t ruining countless numbers of lives and psyches.

Post commencement thoughts: We graduated our twins from college recently. I know there are readers who have all kinds of *issues* with that, but whatever. I trust my man’s judgment implicitly on this one. More than that, I agree. I was taking some mental notes at both commencement exercises.

At the first ceremony there were roughly 1200 graduates. Around 40 of the roughly 170 black graduates were black men (yes, I was counting). I’m fairly certain at least three of those were gay.

At the second commencement there were roughly 1500 graduates. I wasn’t quite as attentive to the numbers, but I would estimate nearly 250 black graduates, with approximately 100 black men and that was because the second group of colleges were heavy with areas of study that more male oriented fiels of study. They also handed out roughly 30 doctorates in computer science and engineering. With the exception of two candidates, EVERY announced candidate was of Asian or Middle Eastern descent. Make of that what you will…

We’ll start our new school year on Monday:  I think we’re all ready for it. The kids are very excited about their new classes in te Classical program we enrolled them in. Depite the sticker shock, it doesn’t really equate to less work for me. Just more help, and it’s help I’m glad to get. This despite the fact that I have to get ready to read -along with our 11-yer-old- a lot of book not previously in my reading queue. Among them (not an exhaustive list):

  • Captains Courageous, which she has already been assigned to begin reading before classes start next week.
  • The Samurai’s Tale
  • The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom
  • The Three Musketeers

Pretty sure there are very few middle schoolers (whether privately or public schooled) being challenged to read great literature. Like I said, we’re excited. There are lots of fun, challenging, and enriching things on tap for the school year. Now, to get us out of this summer fluidity and restore some structure…

Have any of you started your new school years yet? I suspect the northerners who read here can’t even begin to imagine school starting weeks before Labor Day.

Have a good weekend!

 

 

 

Common sense, family life, healthy living, wife stuff

Friday Frivolities 6: Getting real edition

I’m a little under the weather today (the past few days, actually) and the down time is frustrating because I haven’t done as much, but it’s also been an opportunity to think about some of big questions and important principles.

Too much self-analysis is antithetical to Christian growth.

With a birthday approaching, this is a contemplative time. The Benevolent Dictator and I have hit this phase of life with reverence, gratitude, and awe which makes for a stronger connection.  Birthdays invoke more evaluation of where we are and how we live than either New Year’s or anniversaries. Primarily the questions revolve around, “Do our words and actions impart life to the receiver?” Life is not interpreted in our house as 100% good feelz. Sometimes (oftentimes?) Truth stings.

There’s a delicate balance to be struck here, and it’s something I consider a lot of late. The key to seeing things from a realistic perspective is by looking into the mirror of Scripture. Nothing is better for both the comfort and humility needed to live a sane, healthy life.

The second point piggybacks on the first: giving the direction, opinions, perspectives of my husband a place of preeminence is a key factor in growing and accomplishing goals as well. If it were not for him I would have run myself into the ground by now trying to play *super wife*.

So basically, looking at the mirror of Truth and being open to the man’s guidance is better for me than leaning into my own understanding of myself. To thine own self be true is suspect counsel, at least in my book.

Character is the thing we do when -we think- no one is watching.

This is cliche, and we’ve all heard it, but it’s very easy to forget in a world where technology provides ultimate “privacy”. And yet,  the only place you can be -99%- certain no one is watching is in the privacy of your own bedroom or bathroom. We have simultaneously more opportunities to do things in secret and just as many opportunities to get caught.

For me, this admonition is more aptly applied to making sure I do what needs to be done even when it’s inconvenient or I won’t suffer in the short term for neglecting it, but the principle is the same whether it’s about doing the right thing or not doing the wrong thing.

I have long lamented American obsession with propriety over piety, but it’s always good to be cognizant of the fact that even if no one else in the world can see what we’re doing, we know when we’re doing something wrong, and when we’re not doing what’s right to the best of our ability.  Both are damaging to one’s soul.

Conventional Western medicine heals trauma, but it exacerbates lesser ailments.

Did I mention I have a birthday upcoming? 46 I will be. I’m totally cool with that, which as I mentioned earlier, didn’t happen over night. There are a lot of factors that have aided in my ability to embrace 46, not the least of which is that life is peaceful, marriage is blissful, and health has been pretty good on the main. It also helps to get incredulous responses to revelations of your age, your children’s ages, or the length of your marriage.

However there are *things* that come with middle age and they often assert themselves in ways that demand they be addressed. So we go to the doctor. One of the sticky points in our relationship is that the Dictator has a bit more faith in the word of doctors than I do. My less than formal research tells me we are not at all unique in this regard. More time to read and research makes housewives -in general- more crunchy about these things than our husbands tend to be.

Recently however, we found ourselves on the same page on a suggestion offered by a doctor that neither of us liked. It was a surprising irony as I’d already determined not to rock the boat, but he did it for me. It just smacks of the same old tendency we have in our overall culture of treating the symptoms rather than healing underlying issues.

Band-aids on bullet holes and an old fashioned game of kick the healthcare can. It’s the Western way!  Of course, you can’t sell as many pharmaceuticals with a focus on real healing, now can you?

That’s enough musing for one Friday. Sorry if it’s lacking appropriate frivolity.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!

 

 

 

 

 

el's rabbit trails, family life, healthy living, Homemaking stuff, Uncategorized

Friday Frivolities 3: Els’ Potpourri

We once went to a restaurant with an appetizer menu titled “a little bit of this and a little bit of that”. That’s what this is: a random mix of things I’ve thought about that won’t shake the world, but which I find interesting or enjoyable.

~My quest for the perfectly made bed: I make our bed every day, but I usually go about it the short and sweet way: pull the sheets on straight, smooth out the quilt, throw the pillows on top. In other words, just enough so that when we get ready to get in it later, it’s somewhat orderly.

I’m not sure what came over me Wednesday, but I was suddenly possessed with a desire to make our bed “right”. Y’all know, the whole “You can bounce a quarter on it” test.  By the time I was done, there would be no quarter bouncing on my bed, but it did take a long time to strip it, smooth the mattress pad, put on the sheets, straighten, fold and tuck them, put on the quilt, straighten it. Put the pillows on nice and neat, then arrange the decorative pillows just so.

We have a big bed so just walking around it repeatedly to get things perfectly straight took longer than usual. 15 minutes to make a bed that I usually make in three.

It didn’t look very different, but I put in more effort. If the husband responded positively, I’d keep doing it. He didn’t notice it at all. This is one task that I will unashamedly continue to do in shortcut version.

~ Fashion, proportion, and figuring out what works for you: Hearth posted a link demonstrating why women her height look better in skirts above the knee regardless of age. The woman in the linked post definitely looks better in a shorter skirt, and it wasn’t the least bit immodest.

It was a reminder to learn how to personalize your style based on what looks good on you and hold arbitrary rules loosely. I’m much taller than 5’4″, and much curvier (meaning larger bust, smaller waist, wider hips; not rolls of fat). So the lesson in her example wasn’t necessarily for me but there is a lesson in it.

~Birthday season has arrived in our house! Six of our seven birthdays will come and go between now and September 1st, not to mention a double college graduation celebration thrown in for good measure. This means perpetual “dieting” to compensate for all the communal feasting that will be taking place.

One thing I find very helpful during times like these is the motivation provided by non-scale victories that I will gain from eating healthy 75% of the time as the 25% of the time I don’t slows down the ability to lose the few extra pounds I want to lose over the summer. You can find a list here. Approaching health holistically has been good for me. Last but not least:

~Dance Party!!!

This is low culture and I realize that, but one of the ways I decompress and focus is by putting in one earbud, cranking up music with a good dance beat, and using it to keep up my momentum as I clean house. It’s good cardio too.

So, here are a few of the tunes I bounced to yesterday as I did my work.  I know that there are people who dance and people who don’t,  so your mileage may vary. Just find a way to infuse some joy and energy into you life this weekend.

Better When I’m Dancing from The Peanuts Movie, by Meghan Trainor:

Beautiful, by Mali Music:

Adventure of a Lifetime, by Coldplay:

Beautiful Day, by Jamie Grace:

This last one is by a rapper one of my kids is into. Apparently ALL of his music is free, which hasn’t hurt his popularity one little bit. I don’t do rap and never have even when I was young. However, since the girls are geared up to hit the road to go see him this summer, he’s an unashamed professed Christian (that not without controversy), and this hit song is his tribute to his grandma, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to take a listen.

Sunday Candy by Chance the Rapper

Have a fun, family-filled, worshipful weekend, huh?

Common sense, family life, healthy living, Uncategorized

On the contrary: Getting proper sleep keeps you young.

One of the wonderful things about a household where there are multiple adults is that there is always good conversation to be had and myriad perspectives to consider.

Among the topics du jour this morning was the subject of sleep. Like most Americans, we struggle to get enough and when I have gotten six hours, I consider it a good night. My goal is seven hours, but I only hit that twice a week. On a good week.

Of our older daughters, one in particular is pretty zealous about her sleep, and during a discussion with co-workers about how little sleep they all get, she mentioned that she makes sure she gets 7 hours of sleep most nights. The questions started:

“What time do you get up in the mornings?”

“5:30”

“Even when you don’t have to work?”

“Yes, I run with my mom and sisters the other mornings and we have to do it at 5:30.”

“What time do you go to bed?”

“10:30.”

“That’s so specific! You’re like an old person!”

We laughed at that because not only is she routinely mistaken for a 16-year-old (she’s 21), she is also pretty energetic. She’s not the only one of our daughters who prioritizes sleep and that decision doesn’t in any way indicate a staid, dull, life lacking fun or vibrancy.

They go out with friends, got to movies, go to concerts, out to dinner, and travel occasionally, things that cut into getting a full night’s sleep.  In short, they live like young, single people with the exception of those norms which violate their faith and values. They’re not living like senior citizens, although I know quite a few senior citizens who don’t live “like senior citizens” either.

Of course, no one goes to dinner with friends or concerts every night, so when home, rather than stare at screens or text until the wee hours, they go to sleep. I reminded them as we discussed it to mark this day because the time will come when their good sleep and health habits will be more evident than ever as they grow older alongside some of these friends.  As if on cue, I ran across this today:

Too little sleep can increase risk of stroke or heart disease.

This article, however, targets people who are already at increased risk to begin with (and most young people are not), so I wondered about the general population, and found this:

How sleep deprivation affects your heart

And since I am personally interested in staying sharp, I did another few clicks and found this:

The Science of How Sleep Changes Your Brain, from Infancy to Old Age

There really isn’t anyone regardless of where you research, who would discount the importance, restorative power, and preservative nature of sleep.

So the next time someone tells you, “You can sleep when you’re dead”, let them know you have no desire to speed up the process unnecessarily just to have one more drink or catch a television show that you can stream tomorrow without the annoyance of commercials. And got to sleep.

I’m feeling like a power nap before I cook dinner.

 

 

 

el's rabbit trails, family life

In honor of Mother’s Day…

… Some cool mom stuff I have encountered in recent days.

  • A large group of mothers of infants in a local park working with a trainer while their babies sat in strollers. One mother with a particularly fussy baby calmed him by holding him in her arms while she did squats.
  • A mother who, when she saw that her daughter has a particular interest in studying foreign languages, loosened some of her control of their homeschool day and allowed her to explore them.
  • A mother who responded brilliantly when her teenaged daughter complained about her flat butt: “You have a perfectly shaped white girl butt!” I love that she encouraged her to embrace who she is.
  • The mom who takes the time to help out mothers with young children even though she has minor children of her own still at home.

I tend heavily towards improvement and accountability in American women, because Western women are so poorly represented as a whole.

I do know, however, that there are some wonderful wives and mothers out there doing their best to get it right. If you’re a mother reading this post, I commend you for your labors of love.

As for me, I have a newly minted 9-year-old whose requested birthday dinner is not pizza or macaroni and cheese. Oh no!

She wants an “Asian feast” consisting of Mongolian beef, orange chicken, vegetarian bibimbap,  noodles, egg rolls*, and cake decorations representative of the theme.

So, I’d better get back to it.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies.

* Egg rolls are store bought.
family life, healthy living, Homemaking stuff, Uncategorized

It’s not a bargain if you don’t need it.

As I’m purging my kitchen of unneeded gizmos, receptacles, and gadgets (and also watching my husband gradually purge the garage), I realize how many times I picked up something because it was a “steal”.

The problem with buying into that notion is that these things steal needed space which makes clutter and extra work when it’s time to clean house.

Anything that hasn’t been used in 12 months is probably not needed. Additionally, anything that does something you rarely need, or only does it once a year (exceptions for Christmas and Thanksgiving, of course, may not be a steal, although it is a stealer of space and peace.

So far I’ve rid myself of:

  • 5 sheets sets
  • 10 board games
  • 5 water bottles
  • 2 kitchen gadgets
  • an old tea kettle
  • countless “Tupperware” containers

I’m not looking forward to the toy box and closet of my youngest children. Maybe I can get their sisters to take them somewhere to spare us all the wailing, gnashing of teeth and beating of the chest over toys they haven’t touched and clothes they haven’t worn in a year or more.

I’m digressing. what was the lesson here? Oh, yes:

It’s not a deal if you don’t really need it.