Pocket Door or NO Pocket Door?

The House on High Street

On Wednesday, Scott took me to the house to meet our Electrician, Timmy and review all electrical switches…lights…etc.  Wow, that was more intense than I had thought.  “Do you want 2 switches or 3…on the left side of the door or the right…do you want the fan and the lighting on one switch or separate……is the door swinging this way or that way…”  Every time I think we have it figured out, a whole new set of decisions come up.

At one point, Timmy asked a question about the kitchen doorway to the Great Room.  While Scott & Jeff recently added an opening for french doors to the den, the kitchen entry currently has a “single door” opening that could either stay or go.

I decided to facilitate a discussion with Scott…and Jimmy…and Jeff regarding a potential pocket door.  Obviously, Scott is less than thrilled whenever I ask for something new because as we all know…these things can add up.  But, overall, I’ve been really good sticking to the budget and the plans.  Besides, closing these doors will allow us to warm the Great Room specifically as we will rarely use the other half of the house when it’s just the two of us!  So, it’s a cost saver in the long run! Anyway, I captured the contemplation on video.  I think it’s a hoot.   Both Jeff and Timmy are absolutely adorable…trying to stay “neutral”….while Scott tries to find reasons NOT to invest more time…more work…more money.  Ok, I can’t blame him.   I told you we make a good team!  (And, he does “wear the pants” even though I tease about this.)

Anyway, yesterday, Scott surprised me with this pic.   This shows the opening (on the left) for the french doors going into the Foyer…and the opening (on the right) is for…you guessed it…a pocket door!  Yay!

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Staying on Budget!

The House on High Street

One of the most challenging aspects in our Reno Project is working within a budget.   After all, our objective was to find a home that would be valued much more than our investment. Besides, there are qualities (that money cannot buy) that set a House apart from A Home.  Qualities such as warmth…coziness…home-cooked aromas…friends/family/laugher…comfort…and LOVE. Yet still…when you buy a home that is over 200 years old with more damage than functionality there is only so much you can do without tapping into the financial resources. Early on, Scott and I decided upon a budget that would be reasonable for us to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.   Working with a budget helps us appreciate every project we are doing in the house.  Not to mention, it makes us feel good to know that we put so much time and careful thought in determining the difference between “needs” and “wants” and what deserves priority. You’d be surprised how many conversations, hours spent on-line, phone-calls, negotiating, and revisiting the budget takes place for things even as miniscule as the hinges on a door.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely. We have mutually decided that we want this house to have character…authenticity…warmth…and charm.   It’s more important to us that our guests feel comfortable over impressed with the appearance of our home.  In fact, half-way through our deliberations…we decided to switch from “Elegant Traditional” to a more “Rustic Dutch Colonial”.  It just made sense.  Not only was it more practical (i.e. restoring the old floors just lends itself better to the rustic colonial style)…but it would create all the qualities we hope to instill in our home even more. That being said, here are a few money-saving tips that are working for us. Scott and I decided that the Kitchen and the Master Bath will get the most attention in terms of quality and effort.  And even in these rooms, we are prioritizing.   For example, I plan on beating the heck out of my oven and stove.   (Not all kitchen stoves take such beatings.)  Therefore, there will be no skimping on the stove.  However, as much as I LOVE the appearance of cabinet legs throughout the design…spending $800/per leg is just not as important to me. After meeting with a few professional contractors, we decided to appoint Scott as General Contractor.  He is handy.  And, he has valuable connections with everyone from framers to electricians, etc.  It’s important to share that we would NOT have purchased this house if we did not have enough courage to utilize our own talents. For every person hired and every item purchased…we shop around!  Scott gets at least 2-3 quotes for every project.  Since I am doing the interior design and decorating, I do a LOT of homework on line or in the store before committing to a purchase.  (So far, I’ve been to 5 cabinet places since October and I have STILL not made the final decision.) Whenever there is DIY potential…WE WILL DO IT OURSELVES.  (i.e. making window treatments…refinishing floors….authentic furniture pieces;  Scott is making built-in book shelves…the dining room table…and lot’s of other carpentry projects.) Another thing we have learned to appreciate…NEVER underestimate the potential in the “marked down” section of the better quality furniture store.  Scott and I actually found better deals (on much nicer quality items) at the nicer furniture stores (sometimes in the marked down section) than we do at the less-expensive stores. Last but not least, negotiate.  We NEVER want to look back at a project or a purchase and regret that we did not get the best quality for the price we spent. So, overall, this is a fun, exciting, painstaking, and challenging project!  It is also an extraordinary learning-process.  We are learning about the house.  Learning about ourselves.  Learning new trades and skills.  Learning more about our marriage.  And this…money cannot buy!

Just ASK!

Foster Care & Family
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This is me painting our Pottery bowls. I know. I am SUCH A NERD! This was the easy part!

This past weekend, Scott and I spent a day in the city. It was fun and very special. Not just because of the things we did, but because of the things we learned, together.

Scott surprised me with an afternoon pottery class. As you may know by now, I’m spending more time these days doing things with my hands and my imagination. Such as writing, sewing, cooking, home making, etc. So, of course, I was more than thrilled to reenact the Demi Moore/Patrick Swayze pottery scene and make some beautiful pottery pieces with my husband!

First off, little did I know, but making pottery is so unbelievably difficult! I am either left or right handed in any given activity. So, whenever I try something for the first time, I need to figure out which hand to use.

Our experience with the pottery wheel went NOTHING like the movie. It was more like… “Wait a minute…how do I?  “What am I doing wrong?” “This hurts my hands” “Why can’t I get this one to…”  “What the?” “Oh man, is that gonna come out of my jeans?” “How did THAT happen?” “I hate this.” “Why did you take me here?”

Just before I was ready to give up, I decided to just ask the teacher for a little extra help.

When she first came over to my wheel she looked at my piece of ART (which apparently looked more like a piece of crap…literally.) She said, “Oh. Ok. Uh, well that’s just…ok, interesting.”

I decided to spare her the gracious approach. “It’s ok. You don’t need to do that. I realize it’s awful. Can you help me?”

My lopsided soup-bowl.
My lopsided soup-bowl.

She was extremely patient and helpful.  We experimented with the wheel, turning it both clockwise and counterclockwise until I felt comfortable learning which hand to use. As a result, I was able to master one semi-lopsided bowl. Not bad, after five attempts, anyway.

It was worth asking for help.

Later that day, Scott took me to a Malaysian restaurant. I had never eaten Malaysian food before. Our server was very kind and helpful. I asked for his advice on what to order. It paid off, because we LOVED everything he suggested. After he showed an interest in our opinion of the food, I decided to ask more about it…

“So, are you Malaysian?”  (Ok, stop laughing at me.)

“Yes.”

“I have never eaten Malaysian food before.” Trying to come off intelligent. “I could taste the curry and the coconut flavors. So, are these flavors, particularly, what make Malaysian food unique from other Asian cuisine?”

“Yes. Yes.”

“Oh. Wow. And, um…is Malaysia near India?”  (Here is when Scott cocked his head to the side as if to say, “Really Rach?”

“Ooops. I know. It’s closer to Thailand. I remember!”

“Yes”

“I was only asking because I was curious about the curry….” (Pause…. pause…) “Malaysian food tastes to me like Indian and Asian together.”

“Sure.  But, curry is not just a spice in India.”

“Ah, yes. I see.” 

(End conversation.)

Ok, here I did feel a little more like an airhead in asking my questions. However, I genuinely believe our server appreciated my interest.

Our last stop was at the Philadelphia Home Show at the Convention Center.  Here you can visit hundreds of displays and venders for everything pertaining to House and Home…and more, actually.   There was one booth, an Amish Display, in which 3 gentlemen were showcasing beautifully made modular sheds and garages. Scott struck up a conversation regarding a potential garage for The House on High Street. When I was able to get a word in, I asked them a few questions about being Amish. (No, I didn’t ask if they were friends with Vanilla Ice.) Ijust asked a few questions about what it is like to live each day without computers and TV. I was curious. And, they were so interesting!

Looking back on our day in the city, it was these few encounters with people in which I ASKED questions that made the day more meaningful…spontaneous…and fun!

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For most of my life, I was afraid to ask. For help. For answers. For clarity. For understanding. For support. For something I needed. I’m not sure exactly, why. But, I seriously did forego opportunities to ask…more often than ASKING!

I have a feeling I am not alone in this. Why are we afraid to ask?

Perhaps, we were once embarrassed at school by our teacher upon asking a stupid question. Maybe we are just naturally inhibited upon exposing our underbelly…our weakness…our dependency…our ignorance. It certainly doesn’t feel good when you ask for something and you are turned down, rejected, laughed at, or ignored.

Are you afraid to ask? Like asking your supervisor for better clarification on a project…Or, asking your boss for some much-needed flexibility…How about asking your spouse or loved one to explain why there is distance between the two of you…Maybe you need to ask someone to help you understand more about something…more about…them?  Or, maybe there is something from your past that to this day, you still seek answers…

I believe if we care about ourselves and if we care about others…we can choose to ASK.

  • When someone says something sarcastic or vague…I ASK, “What do you mean by that?”
  • When someone offers information about something personal, I ASK a question or two to indicate that I am interested in learning about them.
  • When Scott becomes indifferent, I ASK him to share what is on his mind.
  • If I meet someone from a different culture, background, faith, profession…whatever…I ASK questions so that I can broaden my understanding of the world around me.
  • When I am lost, confused, or just stuck… I ASK for help.
  • In scenarios in which someone shares information that I may not agree with, I will ask questions to better understand this person’s position.
  • When someone asks or expects something from me, I ASK for clarity. Questions like, “What did you have in mind? How many hours do you need me for? What kind of outcome do you have in mind?

I ask people questions in order to improve my relationships and my impact in the world around me. But, I don’t just ask PEOPLE…

Sometimes, I ASK God.

* I ask Him why my body literally wages war with the mechanism of a normal female reproductive cycle.

* I ask Him what plan He has for me since I am not a mom.

* I ask Him for strength.

* I ask Him for forgiveness.

* I ask Him for help.

* I ask Him for understanding in why I suffer and struggle sometimes.

* I ask Him for understanding in why my loved ones suffer and struggle sometimes.

I get most of my questions answered in God’s word. Jesus promises in Luke 11:10, For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 

God’s ultimate objective, is for you to know Him and spend eternity with Him.  You can find the most important answers in God’s Word.

As far as the day-to-day trials and tribulations in this world, I certainly don’t have the answers. In fact, just today, I was ASKING God to remind me WHY I am often so run-down, tired, and feeling physically sick. I was quickly reminded of how easy it is to write…even when I am tired. It comes easily for me (this kind of writing, anyway)…it feels like I am just talking to a friend.

LE Woman is my platform to share how God is working in my life in spite of my circumstances. I believe this is God’s plan for me, right now. I absolutely LOVE sharing my heart, my experiences, my imperfections, my humor, my air headed-ness, my spiritual journey, my unpredictable life…The House on High Street. I may not have it all figured out…but I will KEEP ASKING.

Life is hard…but it is so much better if and when WE ASK. Try it.

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Thank God Dress Size Does NOT Matter!

Foster Care & Family
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Here is the Beautiful Scarlet Bridesmaid Gown I wore in Scott’s Sister’s Wedding. It only took one Sinus Infection to get it to FIT!

It’s the official Award’s Season, when all the Hollywood stars walk the red carpet in their elaborate gowns and tuxedos.  I admit, I enjoy watching the women in their gorgeous dresses.  I always admire their appearance, as they look so radiant…so beautiful…and so SKINNY!

It amazes me, actually.  During the Golden Globes Red Carpet Preview, I was eating a plate of beef & cheddar cheese nachos; glancing back and forth from the TV to my plate wondering if I could ever do what these movie stars can do to look this magnificent.

Sure, I love getting dolled up on occasion, like 3-5 times a year!  And, I more often eat healthy over a weekend splurge on a plate of nachos.  However, I think it is important for us to understand that real joy comes from understanding God’s standards above some of the unrealistic standards we place on ourselves.

Coincidentally, the Golden Globes took place the weekend after I was a bridesmaid in Scott’s sister’s wedding.   And it just so happens that I got an all-familiar glimpse on how difficult it is to sometimes appear red-carpet-worthy. You see, my beautiful scarlet bridesmaid gown arrived very close to the wedding date…one size too small.

True story…

It was just three weeks before the wedding and two weeks before Christmas. I stopped by David’s Bridal to pick up my dress that had been ordered in the fall.  I had a long day running a bunch of errands on the road.  Have I mentioned how much I hate errands that involve driving during the holiday season?

Anyway, this was the last stop on my list.  Upon picking up my dress, the girl at the front counter persuaded me to try it on before leaving so that I could use the store’s seamstress who could start on my fitting right away.  I was tired and hungry, and since Christmas and the wedding were quickly approaching, I decided to get it all taken care of right then and there.

I halfheartedly walked into the dressing area, slipped on the dress, and miraculously managed to zip up the back with no help.  As anticipated, the dress would require hemming at the bottom, but aside from that I was rather pleased that it seemed to fit perfectly everywhere else.  “Great.  This shouldn’t cost too much nor take too long.”

With clothes, coat, and boots in hand, I left the dressing area wearing the gown, and tiptoed to the back of the store to the fitting area.  I plopped my things down on a chair, stepped onto a platform in front of a long 3-way mirror, and waited for the seamstress.

A lovely Asian woman appeared from behind a curtain with a tape measure around her neck and a pin-cushion in her hand.  She didn’t say much, which made it more uncomfortable as after circling me a few times she proceeded to tug at the top of my dress several times in attempt to pull it up higher than it already was.  I didn’t understand what she was trying to accomplish, as the dress obviously couldn’t go beyond my armpits, but for whatever reason she kept tugging at it, looking in the mirror, and shaking her head.  She seemed frustrated and confused.

After a few seconds of this, I realize that I suddenly had this very unattractive roll of upper arm-boob fat just above the strapless neckline.  To add insult to injury, I was suddenly having a hard time breathing and my arms were in suspended animation!  (Remember the movie, The Christmas Story, when the younger brother was wearing the snow-suit and the mom kept trying to push his arms down? Yeah. That was me.)

Now, I was frustrated and confused!  “What did you do that for?”  I asked.

“You were hanging out!  The dress was too low!  That’s not how it goes.”

I felt like I was being reprimanded.  I looked at her as if she was not speaking English, but unfortunately, I understood her more than I cared to.  I looked back in the mirror.

“What on earth….(flapping my arms like a bird)…Now, what am I gonna do?  This hurts!” 

“I don’t know.  The dress is too small at the top.  I can’t make it bigger. ”

For the next few minutes, I was pulled and squeezed by this dress (that suddenly became my enemy), while the seamstress made every attempt to maneuver my God-given curves in ways they were unable to go.   The only way she could secure the zipper is if I held my breath.

“Not working.  NOT WORKING!” 

Meanwhile, my mind was imagining myself in my gown at this wedding with boob-fat while also trying to figure out how I ended up ordering a dress one size too small.

“You know, when I ordered this dress, the girl that helped me told me that it fit.  She didn’t tell me that I didn’t have it pulled up enough!”

The seamstress said nothing and kept shaking her head.  I was beginning to feel faint.  With just 3 weeks until the wedding, it soon became clear what the best alternative would be.

“Ok, I can diet for the next few weeks.  No problem.  Movie stars do it all the time.  I’ll cut out bread…and pasta…and sweets.  And when I come back, it will fit.  We’re gonna make this work, ok? 

“No.  DON’T EAT!  You cannot eat!”

“Are you OUT OF YOUR MIND!?”  I can’t do that.  I will die.  I’ve worn dresses tighter than this before.  If I cut down on carbs I will slim down a size in 2 weeks.  TRUST ME!”

And, in my mind, I resolved that I would do just that.

“Ok.  Whatever it takes.” From there, she effortlessly pinned the bottom of the dress and we mutually decided to leave the bodice alone, hoping my plan would work.

I did start cutting out carbs, and as it turned out, I was plagued with an awful sinus infection on Christmas Day which lasted almost 2 weeks.  Not only did I lose my sense of taste, but my medication curbed my appetite, tremendously.  Thankfully, I had no problem getting into that dress.  And I was able to dance comfortably and eat whatever I wanted that night.

The moral of the story?  I am thankful that I am not a movie star.

Seriously.  Why do we sometimes willingly push ourselves to fit into clothes we naturally may not fit into…or work harder than a normal lifestyle requires…or expect so much from our relationships?

The bible reminds us of what God thinks about our appearance, our lifestyle, and our relationships.   Real joy and peace come from choosing a life that meets these standards.  I personally believe that keeping up with worldly standards can rob us of true peace and joy in our hearts.  Whenever I fall into trying to keep up with unrealistic standards in the world around us…I end up feeling anxiety, empty, and miserable.  I notice a difference after I readjust my perspective on these areas with God’s expectations.  I feel a sense of peace and joy when I am living out His standards.

There are no Oscars in God’s eyes.  And, God doesn’t award us on our red-carpet dress size.  God is not impressed with our materialistic belongings, how many hours we spend at the office, or how much money we have when we retire.  God is not impressed with how many people love us.  Rather, he expects US to love OTHERS.

Think about the standards of this world compared to the standards in God’s word.

The World’s Standards                                   

Body – Outward Appearance is most important.

Lifestyle – Happiness and Money go hand in hand.

Relationships – It’s all about ME.  If you’re not happy, move on to something else.

God’s Standards

Body – Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

Lifestyle – Do NOT be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ …But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

Relationships – Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…(1 Corinthians 4:13)

The Living EXTRAordinary Woman recognizes God’s standards as more important than the world’s standards.  She trusts in finding peace and joy from living according to this truth!

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The Great Room

The House on High Street
So, this will be the room that we spend most of our time in.  The Den and Kitchen; An open-floor concept.  (Scott & Jeff removed all final structures of the wall, yesterday.)
Ok, so we realize an open-floor concept is a little modern, but we are balancing practicality into every decision we make, while maintaining as much originality as reasonable.  We want to have guests over and enjoy home-cooked delicacies (at the 9.5 foot island) while watching the Football game on TV.
I am thrilled that the Kitchen will be sunny from sunrise to sunset now that there is no wall blocking the pm sun!
This view is from the Kitchen looking into the Family Room.

 

View from Kitchen – where the Island will be.There is a side-entrance door  on the left.
To the left of where Jeff is standing will soon beFrench Doors providing a larger entry from Foyer. 

 

This room may have high ceilings and grand windows.But,  the room is a perfect size.   Not too big.  Not too small.

Views from the Kitchen & Family Room

Rachel Maria's Bada Bing Pork Chops, Beans, and Long Hots

Rachel Maria's Recipes

Every once in a while, I love a chicken, pork, or veal cutlet as a platter…with baked beans cooked in the same frying pan with fried onions and a long hot pepper.   This is how mom did it.  And, I love how happy Scott is when there are baked long hots on the table or better yet, thrown in a sandwich or a platter!

Ingredients

2 Long Hot Peppers (Make extra to keep on hand, for sandwiches!)
3 Cloves of Garlic – chopped
4 Pork Chops  (Bone-in or Boneless)
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
3 Tbs. Pecorino Romano Cheese
Salt, Pepper
2 eggs
3 Whole Cloves Garlic (Optional – extra flavor when frying with the cutlets)
1 Tbs. Fresh Parsley – chopped
1-2 Cans Baked Beans (I prefer Baked beans with brown sugar)
1 Small Onion – chopped

Directions

* Long hots can be broiled under a high flame for about 10 minutes.  Simply wash peppers, drizzle with olive oil.  Add chopped garlic, a little salt and pepper.  Check frequently and turn half way thru.  Peppers are finished after they appear charred and softened. Set aside.

* If Pork Cutlets have a bone, pound to thinness.  If they are boneless, you may want to slice through center and/or pound to make thin.  Sprinkle both sides with a little salt and pepper.
* Mix Italian Bread Crumbs and cheese in a bowl.
* Mix 2 eggs in a separate bowl.
* Place a large skillet over a Med-high flame. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
* Dip each cutlet in the egg, then coat with the bread crumb mixture.
* Place cutlets and whole garlic cloves in the pan.  (Remove garlic once softened.)
* Fry cutlets on each side until golden brown and cooked throughout.  Set aside (with cooked garlic).
* Lower flame to Medium.  Add a little more olive oil and chopped onion.
* Saute Onion til translucent.
* Add beans and 1-2 long hots.  Simmer for a few minutes.
* Sprinkle more grated cheese and a little fresh parsley on the pork chops.
* Serve all together…with mashed potatoes!

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Rachel Maria's Hearty Bean & Veggie Soup

Rachel Maria's Recipes

I’m fairly convinced that Sriracha Sauce can make just about anything extraordinary!  (Ok, maybe not…cereal…or chocolate chip cookies.)  Having said that, I believe this recipe (amongst most of the ones I post here) is best with the Sriracha.  So, let’s just hope that Huy Fong Foods can figure out how to stay in business in the US while addressing concerns of nearby locals to the plant, that apparently are inhaling the spicy fumes while eating their breakfast cereal!

Ingredients

32 Oz. of Your Favorite Beans (I typically choose from White Kidney, Great Northern, and Navy)
3-4 Tbs. Olive Oil
2 Cups Each Peeled Potatoes, Carrots, Onion, Celery (chopped in 1″ pieces)
1 Tsp. Salt, Pepper
3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
3 Tbs. Tomato Paste
32 Oz. Chicken Broth
1-2 Cans Stewed Tomatoes (14.5-29oz.)
3 Tbs. Sriracha (Optional.  Pending shut-down status of course.  God, I hope not!)
1 Can Whole Kernel Corn (15.25 Oz.)

Directions

* Prepare beans by soaking, or cooking.  (Click here for ideas & tips.)
* In a large pot, add olive oil over a medium-high flame, followed by chopped potatoes, onion, carrots, and celery.
* Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper.  Stir for about 3-5 minutes to somewhat soften (not fully cook) the veggies.  Add garlic half-way through.
* Add tomato paste.  Stir into veggies with a wooden spoon.  (You may need to lower flame to medium to keep bottom of pan from burning.)
* Add chicken broth, stewed tomatoes, prepared beans, and Sriracha (optional-but highly recommended!)
* Cover pot with lid.  Cook over medium-low flame for about 30 minutes.
* Add drained corn.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
**Serve with Toasted Garlic Bread!

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Second Floor Framing Complete!

The House on High Street

Our carpenter was able to get the 2nd floor framing completed before he went on a holiday vacation. This gives us some time to catch up on picking plumbing fixtures and other items needed prior to rough-in on 2nd floor.

Two Bedrooms now including a Jack & Jill Bath and Laundry Room in the middle. Three Door frames are put into place.
Jack & Jill Bathroom Entrance from the Rose Room.
This photo is taken from the Blue Room (Back Spare Bedroom). You can see the framing for the Laundry Room to the left and the Jack & Jill Bath on the Right.
This is taken inside the Jack & Jill Bathroom Vanity Area. The door to the right would open to a private bathtub and toilet area.
Master closet entry door framed.

We are using the flooring from the original bathroom as replacement boards since this will soon become an outside deck. The old stairs which once came up from the 1st floor kitchen were also removed during demo.

MORE DEMO

More demo on the house happened since we weren’t able to re-use the old chimneys (they used coal prior) and the openings where one would place a normal firebox for logs did not exisit. You can see how narrow the old brick was while the wall/storage built-in on either side made it appear larger.

What do you DO all Day?

Foster Care & Family

SAMSUNGWhat is it with our culture, today?   Why do so many people have a problem with a woman who is not working…or doesn’t finish her college education…or chooses to take care of her husband, her home, her health, and/or her family?

Since I was recently asked, “What do you DO all day?”

Here is my answer.

Besides the fact that I spent 17 years working my butt off (and own properties – plural)…besides the fact that I consider myself successful in spite of having a Master’s Degree and an unforgettable, and remarkably valuable experience with HUNDREDS of students and HUNDREDS of teachers (HEROES-I might add)…Besides the fact that my life is successful because of the character I choose to exhibit or the fact that I come from a family that I AM PROUD OF…Or, that I have a husband that impresses me (and I fall in love with) more and more as time goes ON…not to mention, I have MORE EXTRAORDINARY female friends than I have time to spend with….And, besides the fact that I have finally (after years of ignorance) yielded to my doctor’s advice and made a very good choice to take care of my health over cashing in a paycheck….

For shits and giggles, here is what I do all day.  (For the time being, that is.  My life is always changing.  I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.  And, I’m OK with that.)

I wake up when my body is ready. 

I have a cup of coffee and thank God for the day. 

I read my bible and I say my prayers. (I include anyone I promise to pray for.)

I get cleaned up and make sure I look as pretty as I can. 

I do some housework, possibly some food or house shopping.  I may visit a family member, baby-sit my gorgeous nephews (as my sister-in-law’s mom is very sick), or have lunch with a friend. 

On Wednesdays, I take my sister, Gabrielle, to her Special Needs program.  (I love this time with her.) 

Some days I may have a doctor’s appointment. 

During the week, I jog on beautiful days or go to the gym on the rainy-cold ones. 

Half of the month (Yes, one-half) I am not feeling 100%.  I take it easy on those days.  I read interesting books.  I write.  (I haven’t published anything…yet.)

Some days, I sew.  (I am now finishing up a fabulous maxi-dress that cost less than twelve dollars to make.) Soon, I will be sewing drapes for dozens of windows for our House on High Street.  

I cook dinner almost every night; A rather delicious dinner I might add; incomparable to most restaurants. Scott and I eat over candlelight for every dinner.  On occasion, we eat out or at our parents’ house.  We love our moms’ cooking. 

After dinner, I take a hot shower.  (I can’t wait to get bubble baths in our claw foot tub, in the new house.) 

I clean up the making-dinner-mess and/or straighten up from the day’s activity.  

I cuddle with my husband on the sofa.  We watch a movie, a documentary, play a game, or look on-line for house ideas until we start getting sleepy. 

I turn off the lights; climb into bed, and thank God for my life, my health, my gorgeous husband, my family, and my friends.

Now, what’s wrong with that?

The Living EXTRAordinary woman lives her life to the fullest, yields to where God positions her, and appreciates everything HE has given her!  Period.

LE_Woman_footer-small PS.  After today, I am not going to use the Sh*&t word.  I don’t think that’s being a good example for my readers.  My dearest friend reminded me recently that the Bible encourages wholesome talk, and I am working on that.  Just please understand, that I choose to be real here.  And so, that is my way of reminding my readers that I don’t try to come off like this perfect “I’m a Christian and so I have it all together and never make mistakes…” kind of a writer.  I choose to be authentic.

PSS.  Thank you for reading.  I truly want to encourage you…in some way.

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