SOC Sunday ~ 5/7/17

What a week!  Things have been even crazier than usual around The Lair this week.

Mini-Me had oral surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth and was put under for the first time on Wednesday.20170503_135622

Bless her heart.  She looks so pitiful all curled up on my couch and to Dutchess, our pug.

Overall, she handled it like a champ.  I got a video of her coming out with The Pain after it was over and a few more of the car ride after where she was laid over on my shoulder, petting my arm and telling me how soft my arm was, lol.  It reminded me of when she was little.

There’s been a lot going on with Paul’s job, too.  The store manager was at a seminar most of the last week and he was the fill-in manager while she was gone.  He worked over 50 hours in five days and finished off the week with nearly 60 hours.  Tonight he goes on 3rd shift for a least a few days, possibly for the week while the regular 3rd shift clerk is out with some medical issues.

Tonight he goes on 3rd shift for a least a few days, possibly for the week while the regular 3rd shift clerk is out with some medical issues.

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My beast

Chicklet had my truck off and on all week since the transmission went out on her truck at the beginning of the week, and went on a camping trip Friday and Saturday and came back yesterday evening.  And speaking of my truck, I got a Facebook notification the other day saying we’ve had the truck for a year now!

Having the house to ourselves would have been great, except, of course, Paul’s phone didn’t stop ringing.  Sometimes I think his number is the only one those people know!

Yesterday, Paul and I spent most of the day in the kitchen rearranging.  We’re in the process of doing a whole house reorganizing and the kitchen was the first stop.

To me, if my kitchen is out of sorts, then I can’t get, or keep, myself together.  I’ve been unhappy with the way the kitchen was set up since we moved in.  Nothing felt like it really had a home.  We moved in in such a rush due to weather issues last winter with it deciding to finally to snow while we were supposed to be moving that we just kind of crammed everything wherever we could fit it.  I’ve tried to organize it here and there since we moved in, but I finally realized that mild reorganizing wasn’t going to fix the problem.

I wish I’d gotten before and after pictures but with his phone ringing off the hook and him even having to leave for a couple of hours to go help with something at work, I forgot.

I still need to paint and redo the kitchen table, but just having it organized better and less cluttered has helped tremendously!

This morning while making coffee, I looked out the kitchen window, which has become

20170507_094124
Magnolia Bloom at The Lair Spring 2017

kind of a habit of mine and one of our two magnolia trees that are on the property is right outside that window.  I noticed that there are the beginnings of blooms all over it!

Of course, I should have known based on how congested I was when I woke up this morning.  I have chronic rhinitis and one of my worst allergy triggers is tree pollen, so this time of year, and again in the fall, are two of my worst times for allergies.

Ironically enough, Spring and Fall are my two most favorite seasons for the exact reason my allergies get so bad, lol.

That little pod though, that’s what’s got my allergies in such an uproar this morning!

But, they are beautiful when they bloom (Magnolias and Weeping Willows are my two favorite trees) and allergies or no, I feel blessed to have two rather large ones on our property.

Well, that’s been the highlights of my week.  What have you been up to this week?  I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment and give me some of the highlights of your week!

fire-2134185_960_7201

 

Frugal Living ~ Using Things Up

So, I was working in my bedroom recently and noticed a plastic tub that had gotten set on the bottom of a shelf and forgotten about.  As I looked through this tub, I realized that there were many partial bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotions and the like hiding in there.  Some of it is from where we moved a couple months ago and things just kind of got shoved here and there and I haven’t had a chance to organize things yet

As I looked through this tub, I realized that there were many partial bottles of shampoo, conditioner, lotions and the like hiding in there.  Some of it is from where we moved a couple months ago and things just kind of got shoved here and there and I haven’t had a chance to organize things yet (it’s a much slower process when you’re disabled and have to take things in chunks).

Mostly, it’s where I tried using different brands of things and decided I didn’t care for it or where the shampoo outlived the conditioner and I bought a set of a different fragrance and put up the last little bit for “another time” that sometimes never comes.

Now, the FlyLady says “You can’t organize clutter”, and I agree with her, but I am also a very frugal person and it’s hard for me to throw away something that I know there’s nothing really wrong with if I can find a way to repurpose it.

So, here are a few ideas for using those bits and blobs of shampoo and conditioner that you have sitting around:

  1. Use old shampoo for cleaning.  The FlyLady also says, “Soap is soap”, and that’s something I agree with.  Those little bits of shampoo can be used to clean your sink, tub, toilet, etc.
    • One great idea is to put a little shampoo or body wash in the bottom of your toilet brush holder.  Whenever you pull it out for “Swish and Swipe”, there’s already soap on the brush!
  2. Use leftover conditioner to shave your legs instead of shaving cream.
  3. Use leftover conditioner to make homemade fabric softener.

I may come back and add to this post at a later date after I get some of the household cleaner recipes I personally use posted, but these are some ideas to get you started.

Do you use those bits and blobs of leftover hair and body products for something else?  I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

52-Week Blog Challenge ~ Week 3

Meet My Family

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to include myself here or not, but I figured, what the hell?  Right?  So, here is a peek at my family!

Me (1)
Dawn (Kena), The Hearth Witch

 

I am 42 years old, as of March 2017.

I’m a wife, mother, and grandmother (GiGi).

I’m also a Hearth Witch (Domestic Pagan, Domestic Diva), blogger and avid gamer.

I like to make homemade things like cleaners and beauty products, and I support Green Living and Sustainability.

I like to grow things.

I love to cook.

I struggle with Mental Illness.

I am an Animal Rights advocate.

I support the LGTBQ movement.

I drink lots and lots of coffee.

My family, or The Tribe, are my world.  They mean everything to me.

Paul Fav
Paul (Drako)

I met this guy in December of 1995.  He’s my soulmate, Twin Flame and the love of my life.

We met while I was having a nervous breakdown in 1995 (another story for another time) and he loved me anyway and helped me through it.

In 1997, we married and he became part of mine and Mini-Me’s life and he helped me raise her.  He’s been her Daddy since she was three years old.

He’s a Taurus, the strong and silent type.  He was in the Army when I met him and that period of his life helped to shape the man he became.

Because we were so young when we met (I was 20 and he was 22), we practically grew up together.  We’ve both changed a lot, and trust me when I say that we have been through a lot, but my love for him has never changed.

Me n Heidi on P's 44th
Me and my Mini-Me

The product of my very short-lived first marriage (again, another story for another time).

This girl is what my world has rotated around since I was 17 (almost 18) and first heard the words, “You’re pregnant”.

She has made me the woman I am today and although my first marriage didn’t make it, I consider her a gift and a blessing every day.

She’s gifted in ways that I never was.  Very artistic, has the voice of an angel, can make just about anything.

She loves to bake, sew, sing and make things.

Bell & Wayne
The Pain

This guy will officially be our son-in-law in June 2017.  He and Mini-Me have been together for four years now and are the proud parents of Squishy.

At first, Paul and I were upset about the age difference between Mini-Me and The Pain, but he makes her happy and they love each other.

He’s good to our family and is always there if I need him for anything.

He’s very protective of The Tribe.

He loves to hunt and fish and is almost always covered in camo.

Belly
Squishy

This little girl has stolen my heart, just like her Mommy did.

If you had told me when I had Mini-Me that there was any love that compared to the love you feel for your own child, I would have told you that it wasn’t possible.  No way could you feel love as intense as what you do for your child.

I was wrong.

At the tender age of three, she has each of us wrapped around her chubby little finger, me especially.

She already shows signs of artistic abilities and loves music and Scooby Doo.

Trista
Chicklet

Sometimes, adopted family can mean just as much to you as your actual family.  That’s certainly the case with Chicklet.

About 10 years ago, Mini-Me found her locked out of our next door neighbor’s house trying to get in to get to her dog, Smooches, who has now gone on over the Rainbow Bridge.  Mini-Me came and got me and we got her furbaby for her.

Somehow, she ended up sleeping on our couch a few weeks later and she never really left.

Since then, she’s become like a daughter to us and has been there for our family through thick and thin.

She loves our family and is fiercely protective of us.

She enjoys performing arts, music, reading and is very active in politics.

Daddy
My Daddy

This guy right here is super-special!

He wasn’t always my daddy, but he’s always been a father-figure.

When I was born, he was my mom’s best friend and he and his first wife were asked to be my godparents.  I called him “Uncle” until I was 10 when he and my mom finally decided to get married.

Since then, he has been Daddy.

He’s smart beyond reason and I’ve called him a “walking encyclopedia” most of my life.

He loves me and my little family and there’s not much he wouldn’t do for us.

He’s intelligent, artistic, loves to read and I have had some of the best conversations of my life with him.

He instilled in me a love and respect for nature and taught me nearly everything I know about everything.


So, now you’ve met the core family.  There are other people, like TimberLeaves and Sweetpea, that I do consider part of our family, but this is my Tribe.

What’s a FlyBaby and why I follow this system?

Just a note:  I am not affiliated with FlyLady or her website in any way.  I do not get paid for anything to do with her or her system.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not associated with any type of monetary gain, I just think she’s awesome!  🙂 


So, what’s a FlyBaby?  A FlyBaby is a term coined by The Original FlyLady, Marla Cilley, to describe the people who follow the FlyLady system.  It’s a term of endearment she uses when speaking to her “FlyBabies”.

I first found The FlyLady about 10 years ago thanks to my sister-of-the-heart, TimberLeaves.  I was a young mother, Mini-Me was about 13 years old and had just come to live with me full-time.  My entire life was in an uproar, but my house was in C.H.A.O.S., or Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrom.  (This is also a term coined by The FlyLady which basically means that my house was a mess and I was embarrassed for anyone to come over beyond one friend who’s house was in worse shape than mine.)

I was just over 30 and that was one of those milestone ages for me.  I was so stressed over my weight, my home, my life, my marriage, everything.  I was helping one of my best friends, SweetPea, raise her three special-needs teens as well.  Then my teenage daughter who had lived with my first husband for 10 years suddenly decided she wanted to live with us.  To say my life was a literal madhouse would be an understatement.

Although I’d been raised by a woman who I distinctly recall on her hands and knees in six-inch heels and a dress, cleaning the corners of the kitchen floor with a toothbrush when I was very young (my mother was very OCD and a clean-freak), it seemed that I had not gotten that gene, a fact that greatly disturbed my mother and caused us many problems throughout my life.

Dust coated everything in my house.  Clutter was everywhere.  Mt. Washmore was climbing the walls.  Paul had a very bad habit of sticking dirty dishes in the oven and not telling me they were there and I was too unorganized to remember to check myself.  My refrigerator was a science project unto itself.

I was disorganized and overwhelmed, something that it seemed like I always was.  It seemed like the only good habits I’d developed as an adult were meal planning, frugal shopping and keeping the pantry organized.

Truth be told, when I first found FlyLady, all I did was “flutter”, another term used by The FlyLady to describe FlyBabies who tried to follow the system but couldn’t quite stick with it.  It helped, but I was still prone to Emergency Cleaning whenever my mother would call to say she was coming over and I was still in a constant state of stress 99% of the time.

I kept going back though.  Her system seemed like it should be so simple, yet I was having the hardest time with it and I couldn’t understand why.

Truth be told, it took me years to understand what I was doing wrong and a few more years to start to break the habits that were keeping me chained to my stress.  Looking back now, I realize part of the problem was that I was still young myself, but the biggest problem that was holding me back was perfectionism from being raised by an OCD mother that rarely did anything but clean and who constantly made me feel that my efforts at cleaning were not good enough.

When I would start back on FlyLady’s system, I was forgetting some of the principals her system is founded on.  No whining allowed. You can’t clean clutter.  You’re not behind, just jump in where you are.  And my favorite, Cleaning done imperfectly still blesses your family.

I was like my mom in that I was a housekeeping martyr.  When I did clean, I did Emergency Cleaning to the point that while I was happier with how the house looked, I was completely exhausted mentally and emotionally, then I guilt-tripped my family for all that I had done, and their part in letting it get that way, and was too tired, stressed and overwhelmed to keep up with it.

Before the accident, I felt that I had finally figured out the system and how to keep myself on track with it.  My house was reasonably clean at all times, I didn’t mind if someone stopped by unexpectedly, and I’d finally stopped stressing and obsessing over all the little details.  I stayed busy, but not so much so that I couldn’t get up and do it again the next day.

Then we had the accident.  We couldn’t go home for nearly 6 months because of my wheelchair and then my walker.  When we finally did go home, I was still in incredible pain, barely able to walk and unable to stand for more than a few minutes at a time.  Paul tried to help, bless his heart, but he’s no housewife, lol.

Eventually, I sent him back to work and then he didn’t have time to help.  I was improving my physical abilities, but it was still so hard.  I fell back into the old habits of guilt-tripping myself for all I wasn’t doing.

We moved in with Chicklet a few months ago, and I was overwhelmed by the state of her house, too.  An ex-girlfriend and some family that had lived with her had not done anything to help around the house and it had fallen into pretty bad shape while she worked insane hours and tried to have some kind of a social life.  Again with the bad habits, I busted my ass trying to do everything at once and burned myself out again physically, mentally and emotionally.

I was keeping up with the day-to-day stuff, but just barely and I realized I was entering that martyr mindset again.

Then this morning, I got up to dishes everywhere, clean laundry climbing out of a laundry basket, boxes all over my living room from trying to go through things that had just been shoved here and there when we moved, and the thing that sent me over the edge, Paul had to go into work and didn’t have clean work pants.

I had to shuffle clean clothes from basket to basket to get an empty basket to gather up the dirty clothes that were piled up on my bedroom floor.  I saw my unmade bed and realized that although I’d washed our sheets over a week ago, I never got them back on the bed.  I very nearly sat down and cried.

Instead, I put the clothes in the washer, made a cup of coffee and sat to down to evaluate what was happening and what I needed to do about it, a new habit I’ve been working on to try to manage my stress and anxiety.

I realized that while I thought I was following the FlyLady system, I really wasn’t.  I was missing the main principals again and was about to run head-first into a crisis cleaning that was only going to make me hurt again.

You’re not behind, just jump in where you are, right?  And while you’re at it, No Whining!

So far, I’ve gotten the dirty clothes washed, all the clean clothes folded, hung and put away including what I washed this morning.  I got dressed and fixed my hair.  I swished and swiped the bathroom and gathered all the dirty towels and rags to be changed out and started gathering trash from the small trash cans around the house.

In between when I sit down to rest, I’ve been writing this blog post and feel like I’m finally overcoming that weird kind of writer’s block I mentioned in my post about not sleeping and suffering from mild exhaustion.

It also helps that I have managed to sleep better the last two nights than I was for nine days straight.

It’s not even quite noon yet and already I feel like I’ve got a game plan, a healthy attitude and have made progress on the house.

Now, I’m off into the rest of my day.  Time to think about what’s for dinner and get something laid out and wash the dishes so I can shine my sink.  🙂


If you’re not familiar with The FlyLady, hop over to her website and check her out.  I also found a wonderful lady on YouTube named FlyLady Kat that follows the FlyLady system and she helps break things down and explains some of the steps in her videos!

SOC Sunday ~ Week in Review 4-23

Where pain and sleep were concerned, it was a rough week.  Read about it here.

We had Easter last Sunday.  I slept for 5 hours, the longest I’d slept in days, in the middle Easter 2017of when I was supposed to be getting ready for the Easter cookout.

In spite of that, fun was had by all.  The food got done and was good and Squishy had a good time.  Even my dad had a good time, although he had some pain issues of his own going on.

I didn’t sleep all week beyond an hour or two here and there and by yesterday, I was exhausted.

Still, it was DH’s birthday and the kids planned a cookout for him.  We had ribs that The Pain made and they were delicious! Here are a few pics from yesterday…

Me n Heidi on P's 44th44

Last night, I actually slept for like six hours.  Apparently, most of this was done without moving.  This morning, my back is killing me, but it was worth it to wake up knowing I’d had more than 2 hours of sleep at one time.

Not much else to say today, it was a slow week because of the lack of sleep.  Here’s hoping that last night was a turning point with my insomnia.

Have a great week!

 

Running on Empty

I’ve been MIA recently and missed some of my own deadlines here on the blog.  I’m still kicking, but the pain issues I mentioned in my last post lead into a horrible bout of insomnia which has left me suffering from mild exhaustion.

funny-sleeping-animal-memes-7I’m going into Day 9 of little to no sleep.  My mind has reached such a state of breakdown from lack of sleep that it’s been hard to even think of writing anything useful.  The ideas have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The ideas seem to have evaporated along with any hope I have of sleeping more than two hours at a time.

The pain has finally started to ease some, at least back to where it feels tolerable again, but it has caused such a disruption to my sleep patterns that now I find myself unable to sleep like I normally do.  Granted, “normal” for me still isn’t great and hasn’t been for two years now, but it was better than this.

Easter Sunday, the one day I really needed to be up and accomplishing things, I slept for

Easter 2017
Squishy and Mini-Me hunting eggs.

around 5 hours consecutively in the middle of the day and ran late on our family cookout.  The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

 

The cookout was still fun and the food was still good, but by the time we got outside to start the egg hunt portion of the day, we were losing light fast.

Squishy was still adorable in her Easter outfit and since she’s only three, I don’t think she really remembered her first two Easters well enough to be disappointed that we only got to hide the eggs once, which was a plus.  She still had a good time as well and racked up on Easter gifts, but it didn’t ease my guilt over everything coming together so late in the day.

I was more than a little disappointed in myself that everything felt so rushed at the beginning and that I spent the entire first hour or so everyone was here in the kitchen doing the things I’d intended to be doing while I slept for nearly 5 hours.

The lack of sleep is causing some kind of brain-fog where it’s hard to think straight 90% of the time.  I’m awake at all hours and when I do finally sleep for a couple of hours, it’s at weird times and I’m starting to have nightmares that are leaving me feeling like I haven’t actually slept at all and the exhaustion is leaving me without the motivation to do anything other than sit at my desk and stare at the screen.

It’s also caused a drastic increase in my anxiety.  Logically, I know that I’m beyond tired, that I’m actually suffering from mild exhaustion and that I shouldn’t let things get to me, but when you’re as tired as I am, it’s often hard to control the emotional side of things.

The brain-fog I feel like I’m trapped in has caused some sort of weird writer’s block when

Sleep Meme
I totally feel the way that monkey looks lately.

it comes to the kind of material I had hoped to be producing here.

 

The timing of starting a new blog and this happening couldn’t have been worse.

This morning, I felt compelled to share something, even if it was just to say that I’m practically not sleeping and can’t seem to form meaningful content at the moment.

I’m sure most of you have experienced issues of some sort with writing at some point or have had trouble sleeping for one reason or another to the point that you feel practically useless beyond the bare minimum.

So please, bear with me.  My life is a bit of a train-wreck at the moment.  I hope that it all straightens out soon.

Oh, and today is Paul’s birthday.  We’re going to Mini-Me and The Pain’s for a cookout later today to celebrate.  Maybe I’ll get some pics while we’re there if I can remember to charge my phone today, something I kept forgetting to do over and over yesterday.

 

Blog Challenge ~ Week 2 My Favorite Things

If you’re looking for last week’s post, you can find it here and learn about my best friend and sister-of-the-heart, Timber Leaves.

This week’s topic is My Favorite Things.  That’s a hard one to narrow down because I’m finding that there are a lot of things that I consider my favorite things, lol.

  1. I guess the top of the list has to be my family.  They are definitely one of my favorite things and you’ll learn more about them in next week’s post, Meet My Family.
  2. Behind that would have to be all things domestic.  While I don’t necessarily love the actual process of cleaning, I do find that I love taking care of my family and to me, being domestic is just one of the ways I tell my family that I love them.
  3. Gardening is also one of my favorite things, although it’s been about 2 years since I was able to do more than regrowing a few food items in the window.  I’m hoping this year will be different now that I’m getting around better.  I have a thing for herbs both in my spiritual practices and for household uses, including cooking.
  4. Of course, I also love blogging.  I guess that much is obvious, or I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this, lol.
  5. Cooking from scratch is another of my favorites.  Before the accident, I made nearly everything from scratch.  Bread, butter, cool whip, coffee creamer (which I still make for DH because that’s one of his favorite things), you name it.  While I admit to buying store bought bread now for sandwiches, I intend to start making homemade bread again for everything else.
  6. Homesteading.  Although I consider myself more of a “Modern Homesteader” or “Urban Homesteader” since we don’t have livestock and we live near the city.  We have all the modern conveniences excpet for cable TV which we choose not to have, but I prefer a more rustic and simple lifestyle to the “Rat Race” the world has become.  DH and Chicklet’s jobs are necessary to pay the bills, but at home, I try to create a more relaxed environment than the one they have to deal with for their jobs.
  7. World of Warcraft.  Everyone has their own way of unwinding from a long day and WoW is one of mine.
  8. A good book, especially if that book is written by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, two of my favorite authors.
  9. A good cup of coffee.  Be it hot or cold, a good cup of coffee is a guilty pleasure of mine.
  10. Water.  I’m a Pisces and water soothes my soul.  I love lakes and beaches, hot baths and hot showers.  Daily contact with water is necessary to keep me balanced and mentally and emotionally healthy.
  11. All things DIY and repurposing.  While I’m not exactly crafty, I do love making homemade cleaners, bath and beauty products and finding a new life for old things.
  12. Animals, particularly dogs and farm animals.  We have a total of six dogs between us in our house and we have plans to one day have at least chickens and a goat.
  13. All things Pagan and Spiritual.  I have an eclectic soul and I have spent years of my life studying many different religions and spiritual practices.  I also love Tarot Cards and dragons.  Dragons are our household totems and guardians, which is why we call our home “The Lair”.  It’s actually short for “The Dragon’s Lair”.

So, I’m sure there are many tings that I have missed that I could have added to the list, but this seems like it covers the main priorities in my life.

What are some of your favorite things?  If you’d like to share, leave me a comment so I can get to know you better, too!