Pull up a chair, get a cup of tea, and enjoy reading the recipes and tidbits of my journey through Life.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Surreal Week

Well, might as well start off with the fact that I got almost nothing done on organzing the house.  I did finish getting the kitchen re-organized, but none of my plans for the pantry have been accomplished.  This week will be a drastic difference. 

Thursday evening my Hubby and I went to our daughter's Kindergarten parent teacher night to learn about her Kindergarten experience and meet her teacher.  She has the only male Kindergarten teacher, and that kinda worried us because she shies away from adult men.  He is absolutely wonderful though.  I love that her school is smaller than most in our area and there are only 15 children in her class.  We learned so much that night I went home with a headache :-)

The next afternoon our daughter, my Maman, and I went back to the school so she could meet her teacher and her classmates before their first day.  She had NO problem with her teacher, talking to him easily and interacting with him as if she always knew him.  Total load off my mind.  She also made a little friend, named Luz.  They were preparing for a tea party in the Kitchen Play Area.  She sits next the my daughter as well, so she will have a little friend already when she starts Monday.

Today we spent going to our daughter's Lowe's Build and Grow workshop, then back home for a while (just chillaxing), then went out for dinner.  We walked around the area since we'd never had the time to do so and I stumbled upon a hidden treasure; a non-profit used book store called Friends of the Library.  I ended up buying a Freezer Cookbook, a world ethnic cuisine cookbook, a cooking with Kindergartener's cookbook, and Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder...for $6!  I might just have to donate the books I want to get rid of the them!  We started reading Little House tonight before bed and she absolutely loved it.  She even thanked me for buying it.  She has never thanked me like that before.  It brings back memories of my Mommy reading the same books -- the series -- to my brother and I by the oil lamp when the lights would go out.  Since we lived in the country at the time, this was a common occurance, so I have many warm-and-fuzzy memories of these books, not to mention the TV series.

I will definitely be frequenting that place.  There is even a "New Age" section (a.k.a Pagan section), which is one of the reasons I wanted to check it out, just to see if they had one :-)  Even if they didn't, the smell alone in there was worth the time.  I wish there was an air freshener called "Old Book Smell".  I'd buy stock in the company!  There weren't really any interesting Pagan books, but there were enough in the section to warrant a frequent trip to check their stock.  My head almost swam at the number of cook books, but they did not have any on dehydrating food, which I was really looking for.  I am getting a food dehydrator (early birthday present) as soon as I can remember to order the damned thing.  Probably right after I post this.

Speaking of early presents (well typing actually) I got my early Christmas present today...a Kindle Fire!!!  My Hubby found one at Toys-R-Us for $150 instead of $200 so my Mommy got it for me early.  THANK YOU, MOMMY!  This will really come in handy now that my daughter is going to be at school and I can find time to actually read!

It is still a little surreal that starting Monday my baby-girl will be in school!  No more jetting off somewhere for a day or two whenever we want to take her somewhere, we now have school to contend with!  LOL  Tomorrow I will finish going through her school clothes to make sure, again, that she has everything she needs and get her backpack and lunch box labeled with her name.  I also need to make the "K" for her to have her picture taken with for her first day of school scrapbook page. 

Another development this week is my choice of a major when I go back to school, hopefully in January.  IF I am accepted to University of Maryland then I will be going for a Bachelor's in Persian Studies.  It was a choice between Persian Studies or British Studies concentrating in Anglo-Saxon history.  I have more to offer with Persian Studies since I will be a born and bred American working in the field as opposed to an Iranian or other ethnicity.  Maybe as an American I can get other Americans to listen and realize that the Iranian people are not the enemy.  Maybe one day our countries will be friends once more.  And maybe, just maybe, I can have a hand in that outcome, even if it is a small part.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Weekly Organizing

Those who know me, know that I get bouts of home-organizing frenzy that last about as long as my energy does.  I have a tendancy to over-do by going like gang busters.  I found a website (orgjunkie.com/52-weeks) that suggested doing a project or two a week (like one or two drawers, not one or two rooms) instead of everything all at once.  I will probably do more than that, but no more (hopefully) than an hour or two a day.  I have a list made by week up until the first week of November.  I will post weekly of my progress, maybe daily if I see major progress!

Today, well...I over-did it!  I spent roughly 6 hours re-organizing my kitchen cabinets and drawers.  I have a box of utensils and dishware to Curb Alert on Craigslist tomorrow.  I had my darling Hubby print me some labels that I found the design for online (cannot find the website now to save my life, but will post it when/if I find it).  They are very simple vintage style black print on white circle labels.  And I used a red fine-tip Sharpie to write the items on the labels. 

A thrifty tip:  go to your local Dollar Tree and check out their baskets and organizers.  I was able to get some canisters (not the fancy ones above, but still servicable) and drawer organizers all for a buck a piece.  And now my once-cluttered utensil drawer looks like this:

The one above it will take some thinking on how to organize it since it houses all my cooking spoons and spatulas and ladles.  The Dollar Tree organizers are not big enough for those.  I might just have to suck it up and buy something a little more expensive...but man I hate giving up my pennies for things I think should be cheaper!

This coming week my organizing foci are:
  1. Finish the kitchen re-organization
  2. Purge out-of-date items in the pantry, Freecycle anything that we won't use but are still good
  3. Empty trash cans/recycling in basement
  4. Curb Alert old toys on Craigslist
To me that does not seem like much, and it really isn't, but I do not want to go gang busters and run out of steam half-way through working on the house.  Plus I have my normal weekly cleaning to do as well.  That is something else I need to re-organize now that my daughter is starting Kindergarten on the 27th, my cleaning routine. 

So much to do and so much time to do it.  SOOOO excited!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sad Purge...

I honestly do not know how many readers I have, other than my husband, but I feel the need to vent/purge, so you are forewarned. 

Close to three years ago I learned of a wonderful campaign to build a pagan community center.  I was excited and motivated to make it happen.  My husband and I donated our time and money, not to mention creating items for the silent auctions at events.  We joined the Launch Committee once we had a physical address and worked to make the Dream a Reality.  New Year's Eve 2011 we opened the doors to the community.  I say "we" because the OHF Community Center belongs to the community, WE made it happen.  I became a weekly volunteer and joined the Event Planning Committee.  A few months after the launch I was asked to be the Steward of the Community Center and I agreed, eager to do all I could.  I ran a successful household and what is a community center but a home-away-from-home? 

Shortly thereafter I started to notice things not running as soothly as they did in the beginning.  Then suddenly on of our Vice-Chairs, and strongest supporter, stepped down and removed herself from the OHF completely.  I was told that this was her own decision and the OHF had nothing to do with it.  Later I learned that she was manipulated by our other Vice-Chair, her husband, into resigning to save her marriage. 

Things really went down hill from there and I decided to distance myself from working with the remaining Vice-Chair that had now taken control of the Board of the OHF.  I could not handle working with him, knowing how he treated his wife, my close friend.  So I stepped down as Steward.  I used the excuse that life events were making it diffiult to continue as Steward because I am the type that hates confrontation.

A month or two later I found out he was having an affair with one of their friends.  Now his ethics were called into question in my mind, and the minds of many others.  I resigned my volunteer duties, not that anyone ever came to the center during my open hours. 

Shortly after that Firefly pulled its sponsorship and many members pulled their donations to the Center because the Vice-Chair was still in power on the Board, as well as his mistress, and nothing was being done to remove him from power.  I pulled my monthly donation as well, being sickened by the fact that the Board of the OHF seemed to support this person's lack of ethics.  It was almost like the condoned his behavior. 

Then today I learned that two of my friends are having a hard time with their newly opened Massage & Wellness Center.  We are planning a fundraiser on September 8th at 4pm.  They are two of the most giving and wonderful men and it breaks my heart to see them having financial difficulties.  (If you want to help out, shoot me an email and I will let you know more.)  But this got me to thinking.  We should be having this fundraiser at our Community Center, but because of one person's selfishness being condoned by the Board, we cannot have it there.  While the Pagan Community should be pouring our energy into helping our Brothers, we have to fight amongst ourselves. 

It is just a sad, sad day in the DC/MD/VA Pagan Community.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Compartmentalization vs. Consolidation

For those who know me personally, know I am as anal as they come.  Everything has to be organized and have a certain place, even if I am the only one to understand that organization.  Well, I had begun to do that with blog and have aquired three different blogs, on three different subjects; one Pagan, one homemaking, and a new one on cheap scrapbooking.  I thought this would make it easier for me to keep things straight, but in all honesty it makes it harder.  So, I had an epiphany today, why not just have ONE blog that does everything?  Kinda a duh moment.  I mean, the blogs are about pieces of me, so why not "showcase" all of me in one place?  So, from now on, all of my posts will be here at Homemaker Homestead.

Last night I took an online quiz, Pagan Tradition Selector (http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=PaganTraditions).  I got the result of Old English Heathenry (a.k.a. Anglo-Saxon Heathenry).  Kinda outta left field, so I did a little Googling and WOW!  So many beliefs I have always had that never seemed to fit anywhere in mainstream Paganism fit perfectly in Anglo-Saxon Heathenry.  Not to sound cliche but I have found my spiritual home.  Granted I need to do a LOT of reading and learning, not the least of which is Old English.  I have a teach-yourself-book on its way that comes highly recommended by scholars (and was only $5 with shipping from www.Alibris.com).

I started Northern Magic: Mysteries of the Norse, Germans, & English by Edred Thorsson last night and "finished" it tonight.  I say "finished" because I skipped a good amount that pertained mainly to the Norse (as does most of the book) and not the Anglo-Saxons.  I enjoyed the book and it did give me a foundation and point me in a direction of where to move to next. 

Oddly enough I had one of the books Thorsson lists in the bibliography, Gods of the Ancient Northmen by Georges Dumezil, which I bought over eight years ago at an archaeology conference for $1.  From the title I am going to assume it is mainly about the Norse, but I might be able to garner some little gems from it like I did from Thorsson's book.  I learned that the Anglo-Saxons had their own version of the Elder Furthark Runes, but with 33 runes instead of 24.  There are a few books on the subject that I have to either find by Inter-Library-Loan or save up some money and buy second hand -- and they don't come cheap being scholarly texts. 

Speaking of money, another development in my life is my new-found obssession with extreme couponing.  I learned the ropes at www.thefrugalnavywife.com.  So far I have saved more than I thought possible!  Yesterday I bought 4 50ounce jugs of Purex laundry detergent, 3 75ounce jugs Cascade dishwasher detergent, and 3 composition notebooks for $23.23...and saved $26.29, plus got a $1 off coupon to use on anything in the store for later use!!!  I have enough detergents to last about 3 months, maybe more.  The night before I saved almost $18 at Harris Teeter, spending only $22.  And I barely have any coupons, imagine when I really get going.  Sooo excited.  Maybe if I save enough money I can afford some books :-)