Such horrible things going on in the world today. Everywhere you turn it is something ... terrorism, war, political strife, death, loss, illness ... makes you wonder what lessons we are supposed to learn from such things. How do we find the light in so much darkness? I don't wish to take away from the very real compassion we should have for others but for me the lesson in all of that is once again the realization that none of us are promised tomorrow, and that we should enjoy what there is of today to the best of our ability. I don't mean a self-centered enjoyment but one that is enlightened so that we try and share what light we find with others; and when we can't find light we should do what we can to make it.
After Christmas our family always goes through all the things we have to make sure that nothing is just sitting there and wasting. I gave my parents a good bit of canned preps to help them through this time of year that is always a struggle for them. I'll build our preps back up but sharing with family is one of the reasons I have such a large pantry to begin with. It isn't much in the scheme of things but I like to think that I'm trying to give back the way they taught me to and to return some of the love they've always given me my whole life. My parents aren't hard up compared to some but they do live on a fairly fixed income. Further, I know my mother can take what she has and make it go a far piece for her and Dad.
My daughters still living at home went through their clothes and accessories and pulled together things to give to a program run through our church for all of the foster girls in our county. The girls get to come once a month and get tickets that they can trade in like coupons for an entire outfit from underwear to outfit to jewelry to shoes and a handbag. During the Spring they even have a selection of prom and homecoming dresses.
My eleven year old went through his clothes as well and all of those that he'd outgrown - and there were far more than I expected - were folded and donated to another children's program. I need to go through my own clothes and hubby and my older son said they too will be donating things in the near future. That is on top of the abandoned furniture, clothes, toys, and other stuff we had from several move outs from our rental properties at the end of the year. (Don't ask, you'd be amazed at what people are willing to walk away from and then complain they have nothing in this world, over and over and over again.)
I've also been reorganizing in areas that have gotten cluttered the last few months as the holidays pulled me in other directions. The decorations are mostly put away ... just need to box up the lights and get them put in the loft in the barn. Next on the list after that is reorganizing my cleaning supplies. I was thinking of going back to making my own detergent but I'm going to put that on hold until I can get rid of all of the commercial stuff I have right now. Just eyeing it casually it looks like I have enough to give Pinocchio's whale a bubble bath with some to spare.
Tomorrow is supposed to be a cold day for us; high of only 55. I might actually get to use the fireplace once or twice before I close it down until next year. It definitely needs cleaning out, that's for sure. On a windy day there is a musty, dusty smell if you stand close to it. And the chimney needs a cap on it before the birds move in and start nesting again. Last year we had a couple fly into the house and wasn't that a kick for the cat and dog.
Well, enough of that and here's what you came for ... the story updates:
The Linderhall Legacy
A Bunch of Wild Thyme
Zombies Aren't Real ... Are They?!
Up On Hartford Ridge
I do have one youtube for you. It is on using household cleaners to clean your fireplace.