Jun 23, 2018 6:05:51 PM
Feb 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM
December 1, 1963, we were on the second day of our honeymoon, traveling from Vancouver, Washington to southern California. We’d borrowed my parent’s car, a 1963 Ford Galaxie. They wanted us to be “safe” and our car was a ’49 Ford that didn’t show promising signs it could even get to the Oregon border let alone to the southern end of California.
The new car had a bench-type seat instead of bucket seats in the front and seat belts weren’t the law in 1963, consequently this car didn’t have them. We’d stopped at a service station to get gas in Pixley, California and it was my turn to drive, so my 6 ft. husband got in the backseat because I had to have the front seat forward as far as it would go in order to reach the pedals. I’m 5’2.”
It was dark when we got back on the road and the freeway was full of Thanksgiving, holiday travelers. As I drove on the on ramp to Highway 99, I could see it wasn’t going to be easy to merge as cars weren’t moving over to let me in and certainly slowing down is never an option for drivers flowing with the speed of traffic. I came to a full stop about 25 feet from the oncoming traffic and was waiting for a semi to pass when I heard my husband scream, “It’s going to hit us!!” as he reached around me from the back seat and cranked the steering wheel to the right (I had the wheel straight ahead to merge onto the freeway).
Nov 18, 2017 11:59:49 AM
Holiday food is always fun, unless of course it's your last meal and you're on death row eating it right before Christmas. That can't be fun. Now with that said, to change the subject, what does a log cabin, a snowman, a sleigh, penguins and an igloo have in common? You probably said, "Snow or cold weather." Okay, you're right, but when you're through reading this blog you'll be able to say, "Holiday fun foods."
May 4, 2016 1:20:31 PM
Do you ever feel like whining? It’s kind of fun to make your voice match your reluctance to do something you have to do. “I don’t wanna balance my checkbook, it’s nice outside and I wanna go play in the garden!” Wah, wah, wah. The thing about whining is that it’s annoying and you can get into a habit of it. I'm sure you have a few well-known complainers in your life.
Topics: Raising Children
Nov 13, 2015 8:00:00 AM
Take time daily to be alone with yourself, away from phones, the Internet and noise. Making time for solitude is a gift you give yourself. Insist on it, and don’t allow anyone, including yourself, to talk you out of it. It's enlightened selfishness and it's a very spiritual way to love yourself. Until your are feeling good about yourself, you can't feel good about others.
Here are six healthy benefits of quiet time.
In a stressed state, it’s so easy to snap at the kids, the pets and your beloved; and then you feel guilty for "losing" it. You love it when you are compassionate and kind. In a relaxed state it's so easy to have a clear mind and connect with a deeper sense of purpose and good.
Meditation and medication are derived from the Latin word medicus, to care or to cure. A time of quiet calmness is, therefore, the most effective remedy for a busy and overworked mind. Anytime you feel antsy and headed into overwhelm, just focus on your breathing and quietly repeat with each in-and-out breath: Breathing in, Calm down, you're okay; breathing out, All is well. (Because you are and it is.)
Love is always there between the thoughts, behind the drama, underneath the noise. What keeps us from experiencing our natural state of peace is the habitual and ego-dominated monkey mind. Meditation enables us to see clearly, to witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce self-involvement. Without such a practice of self-reflection there’s no way of putting a brake on the ego’s demands. From being self-centered, we can become other-centered, concerned about the welfare of all.
Take a moment to appreciate the chair you’re sitting on. Consider how the chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the factory where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop that sold it—all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that deep appreciation to everything and everyone in your life.
Nov 12, 2015 6:00:00 AM
Sometimes things can get a little hectic on Thanksgiving, especially if the gathering is at your house. Here's a grand idea using children's imaginations to keep them busy for an hour or so before the festive meal is served. All you need is a sheet, some butcher paper (or newspapers) and marker pens and you'll see what can happen in your home. Watch this short video clip and let your little artists take over.
Nov 12, 2015 6:00:00 AM
Are you married to or friends with a BO (Born Organized) person? If you know some, you know they love deadlines. A SHE (Sidetracked Home Executive) tends to look cross-eyed at them. It's interesting that the word dead is in the word deadline, because deadlines can sap the spontaneity right out of life, especially when you make them and don't meet them. The House Fairy took two years to create and because of the creator (me) who is a SHE, it was done without deadlines.
We recently launched our new website www.cluborganized.com which was slated to be live on January 1, 2015 and it just went live last month. It's my fault, because I live in a SHE time zone and I'm more concerned with enjoying life and less with some man-made deadline.
This morning my husband and I had what I'll call a SHE-BO clash! I was playing in my kitchen making chili when he came in and said, “It’s been a week since you said you’d have the text for the Club Organized Manual edited and you didn’t work on it this weekend, and now Christmas is looming and we’ll be pushing it into next year, if we don’t get busy!” (We SHEs need to be very careful throwing around promises in front of BOs.)
Hmmm, can this marriage be saved?
Nov 10, 2015 6:00:00 AM
Hey Mom, no one in your home is going to say, “Oh Mom, thank you for making dinner, doing my laundry and vacuuming the family room!” If one of them ever did, you’d be inclined to take his or her temperature.
Spouses may let out a few “hmmmms and ahhhhhs” over the salmon you barbequed, but most of the work involved in running a successful home goes without much thanks -- to include pay. So, Mama, champion of doing the thankless household tasks, here are some thankful thoughts you can think so while doing thankless work you’ll enjoy it.
As you fold each garment of your precious family’s clothing, bless those people and think about when you first met them. Be thankful your family has clothing and that you’re not all running around naked. Be thankful for your appliances and the fact that you don’t have to drag your hamper down to the river and wash stuff on one of those board deals.
As you wash the dishes, be thankful for hot, running water. Just think, you and your family don’t have to eat straight off the table with your hands, because you are civilized, you have good table manners, plates, glasses and silverware.
Look closely at the suds and see the beautiful colors in the little bubbles and be thankful you can see. I remember my mother being reduced to tears reading a true story about a woman who’d been blind her entire life and with a surgery was able to see. She wrote about the beauty of bubbles.
Nov 9, 2015 5:00:00 PM
You probably don’t need anyone to talk you into getting your rest during this holiday season, but I decided to give it a shot on this video clip anyway, Hey just maybe you'll fall asleep listening to me go on and on about getting your sleep.
Sep 28, 2015 7:00:00 AM
(Be sure to read The Benefits of Being Disorganized (Part I) http://blog.housefairy.org/did-you-know-you-are-blessed-to-be-disorganized . I wrote about the significance of time and motion studies for the disorganized. I think you’ll be surprised.)
So you've got multiple stacks of paper on your desk and slyly hidden piles under it, three extra kids you didn’t plan (disorganized women have more babies than organized ones do), and when you get the ironing board out the dog barks at it, BIG DEAL. In my humble, reformed slob opinion, I believe there is actually a price for attempting to be organized for the neat-police who can hold so much authority over our lives. And I think the costs outweigh the advantages.
I heard of one woman whose messy desk was more an annoyance than a hindrance. In her 360 degree review process, some of her co-workers and employees commented that her desk was a disaster and that she appeared disorganized. But, she was highly praised in these same reviews for her timeliness, leadership ability, communication skills, strategic thinking and ability to get things done. She received several promotions throughout her career and is now a vice president with her firm.
A Bradford, PA police chief who actually was fired for not having a neat desk said,
Sep 24, 2015 11:00:00 AM
September 24, 2014, by Pam Young
Doing laundry is so simple, so why do we let it pile up and then make such a big fuss about it? There are several reasons, but the first one is, that it's so simple; therefore it’s easy to procrastinate. If we had to haul water from the well and heat it over a fire we had to build earlier, or had to drag our clothes down to the river with homemade soap and a scrub board, we’d have to have a laundry day and we wouldn’t put it off so easily.
One other problem we create when it comes to the laundry is having too many clothes. You can bet if you took the amount of clothing you have today and went back to the pioneer days as you came west to build a log cabin, you’d create your own Oregon Trail with the unneeded duds real fast.
The laundry room is a great place to declutter, because you get a chance to look at your family’s wardrobe and discard rather than launder.
Even though laundry is simple enough a child can do it, it does have a four-part process: wash, dry, fold, put-away and leaving any step out spells trouble. So always keep in mind the four parts.
Sep 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM
All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mom, so I majored in Home Economics in college. One of the courses was in cooking which I’ve always loved to do. Part of the curriculum included a time and motion study to track our steps while baking a cake.
“By being organized,” Miss Cratzberry, the professor, told us; “you will save valuable time and energy to use on other activities in your homes. Being aware of the steps we take in the kitchen, preparing the family’s meals, is vital to becoming efficient in the daily tasks of homemaking.” I’m sure this study was thought up by some efficiency expert like Miss Cratzberry who never married and never had kids. In fact, one of the lessons in her course study was entitled Handling Servants. (Over the years, that information has sure come in handy for me!)
Back to the cake walk; I remember winning the prize for the most steps taken! One quarter mile! (Actually I didn’t win a prize as it was supposed to be bad news for me, but I decided to turn it around in my 19-year-old mind into a good thing.) Webster defines a time and motion study as: a systematic observation, analysis, and measurement of the separate steps in the performance of a specific job for the purpose of establishing a standard time for each performance, improving procedures, and increasing productivity —called also motion and time study, motion study, time study. This is what I envision my resulting steps to look like.
Years later when I really was a mom and wife, I never forgot the results of my time and motion test. One day it hit me while I was packing up stuff to take to the gym for an hour workout, that with my gift of taking too many steps in life, it really was a benefit! Because of my attention deficit disorganization, I suddenly realized I was probably getting in a full workout every day. In fact, if I didn’t go to the gym, I’d save the time, energy and money that that activity took from my day. Put that in your time and motion study Miss Cratzberry!
Sep 1, 2015 8:02:00 PM
As a parent, you can nurture your children’s imaginations by providing good books that inspire them to imagine and art supplies that give them a way to express their creativity. If they’re musical, be sure to give them access to musical instruments. One of the best gifts you can give your kids is clutter-free space in which to create.
It’s also a good idea to encourage kids to share their dreams when you’re at the breakfast table every morning, as sharing dreams will cultivate the child’s ability to remember their dreams and learn from them. Children love to talk about their dreams, I know because whenever I get the privilege of being with a messy-haired, sleepy-eyed child, I always ask and it always turns into a wonderful and creative discussion. Try it tomorrow morning as you sit and enjoy the start of your day with your kids.
Aug 3, 2015 6:06:00 PM
I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like to be read to.
Have you heard people say, “The kids today have short attention spans because of electronics and quick-paced television for kids”? It’s true they’re used to watching three to four-second bytes and they enjoy fast-paced computer games, but to date I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like to be read to.
As I sat in the Kelso, WA Amtrak station waiting for a train that was 38 minutes late, I watched a grandmother read Curious George to her five-year-old grandson.
From my vantage point, she appeared to be a rather listless reader, void of expression, sound effects and lifted eyebrows accompanying some of Hans’ and Margaret’s incredible thoughts, yet the child was glued to his grandma’s side listening to the story!
When the book was finished, I thought for sure he’d get up and run around the waiting room, but instead, he pulled another book from his backpack and she proceeded to read it in the same dreary way. The train turned out to be an hour late and the child remained interested in books the entire time. So much for short attention spans and quick-paced action to keep a child’s attention.
So here are what I believe are 7 benefits of reading bedtime stories to your children.
1. Cultivates Imagination
Now that visual stimulation is served up via television, IPads, IPhones, Xbox etc., children rarely get to tap into their imaginations unless we read to them, or until they can read. As a child, I loved radio (it was before we had television) because my imagination provided the visuals. Because we don’t have kid radio, unless we read to our kids, their ability to use their precious imaginations and be able to visualize will weaken.
I remember one Christmas, my daughter Peggy bought a bunch of children’s books at a neighborhood garage sale and recorded reading them on a cassette tape recorder for her non-reading cousins as gifts for Christmas. As adults, those cousins still speak of how they loved her gifts of being read to.
My husband Terry and I recorded books on CDs, the same way Peggy did with a cassette recorder. This way our grandchildren could listen to us read the books we gave them as gifts.
2. Creates a Bond