Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kitchen Re-Dux


This post could double as a "Confession" as it shows the state that my kitchen was left in before I went away to house sit for a couple of weeks. As you may recall, I was sick in the week leading up to house sitting, and was also working extra hours as well, so I didn't have the time/emotional werewithal to leave things the way I would have liked to find them. As a result, I came home to this refrigerator:

And in case that doesn't look gross enough for you, here's a close up of how dirty the glass shelves were:

Can we ALL saw eeewww?

In addition, you may recall a previous confession about my baking good cupboard, which I forgot to take a new picture of before I cleaned it, but here is what one corner looked like, and you can imagine the rest:


My other pantry wasn't fairing any better. Behold:




Soooo... You can see why I spent the better part of an entire day working on my kitchen. And, a few gallons of elbow grease, three garbage bags, a full recylcing bin, and aching sore feet and knees later, and I am proud to present:


My Refrigerator:



Each time we have moved since being married, we have, like the Jeffersons, 'moved on up' when it came to refrigerators. Our first apartment in Ontario we had one of those old-fashioned refrigerators that still had the inside ice box, you know the ones that totally ice over and don't keep anything frozen? It was tiny, and didn't even have a produce drawer in the bottom, or a light to see by or anything. It shows how you adapt, because i would lose my mind if i had to go back to that. Our second apartment we moved up to a new refrigerator, with a proper freezer, but it was still an "apartment sized" refrigerator and was thus still quite small. You couldn't stand up a half gallon of juice or milk on the shelves, to give you an idea.

And then we moved into our current apartment, and I felt like I hit the jackpot- huge freezer, lots of space, and even a nifty cheese/cold meets drawer. And yet... I can fill that puppy right up! I added a couple of baskets/tupperware bins to help keep my breads, meats, and extra condiments organized. And no more mystery goo on the glass!

My baking cupboard:


I got rid of a lot of the junk that was forgotten up there over the past year. here's another mini-confession: I found marshmallows and fruitcake candied fruits from last year's baking left overs. Ooops...

And I labeled some things and made good use of the lazy suzy and a couple of baskets to organize.

My pantry:



I struggle to keep this one in order. Our kitchen is really a decent size, especially for an apartment, but itcame with almost no cupboards. As a result, we went a bought a piece that fit our space from Ikea, but it's really meant to be more of a book shelf than a pantry, and is quite shallow in depth. It's pretty easy to run out of space pretty quickly. But I got ruthless and weeded out foods that we just weren't eating and organized by category and this is definitely helping.

Well! This was so nice to sit and meditate on some accomplishments in the midst of this hectic week. I am still busy at work, and now with a cold (Jeepers, could this month of sickness be over, already!), but it was nice to sit on the couch and think about what i was able to accomplish in my home in the time the Lord gave me. Thanks, ladies, for visitng my kitchen with me!

Part 2 to follow soon!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Multi-Tasking




I write to you all this evening from a most spectacular location: my couch. Well, love seat to be exact, but at 5'1/2", I can stretch my legs out and I am quite cozy. This is the first time I've been able to do this; my laptop is not wired for wireless, so i have to be connected directly to the network cable in my house, and that has thus far limited me to the dining room table. But, as my beloved husband was kind enough to help me, I have a network cable cutting across the foyer to the couch so i can be in a more comfy spot whilst typing.

This was not done so I could blog in more comfort,although that is a bonus! Rather, I have been hooked up, via logmein.com , to my computer at work and am now able to do some of my work from home. This is terfiffically wonderful news becuase I have so much extra work right now at year's end and I have been dreading the extra hours I've been spending at the office. This way, I should be able to put in my regular hours, Tues-Thurs 9-3, and do my extra stuff here at home. his means, while I am still spending time working, 1.) I am in the comfort of my own home, and 2.) I can be keeping an eye on a stew on the stove, or a load of laundry in the basement, etc, while I am working, and multitask both office work and "home work".


And this development couldn't have come at a better time. God's timing is so good, ladies. We moved back into our place on Saturday afternoon after housesitting for nearly 3 weeks, and I had a lot to do to get the house in order. I got to work saturday afternoon, and worked away yesterday all afternoon and evening, and was at it again today. I was feeling quite good yesterday as i was working away at cleaning the fridge and rearranging my cupboards (before and after pictures to follow soon!),taking pictures and looking forward to sharing on the blog. And today started off so well when my beloved took me to the Antiques warehouse in town and took advantage of their going out of business sale (I'm super bummed they are closing! Thanks, Walmart, for buying up their lot for parking!) and bought be a buffet/cabinet for my kitchen!! I am so super excited about it, ladies, and promise to post a picture very soon. I have been wanting a cabinet for my kithen for a while that would replace the rather ugly microwave cart I have had for years (and have been thankful to have it, as it was free!) and give me more space. I'll blog more on it later, but the point is was so excited to get it here today, and fill it up, and work away on my kitchen.

And then I got a call this afternoon from a sister from church who is in the hospital with pnuemonia. I had told her I was happy to help her with anything, and she asked me to help cover a shift at her home-run daycare on Friday of this week. She has a very able assistant, and I was more than happy to volunteer to help her out in this way. When i got off the phone with her, however, I started to get very anxious and started fretting about my week. It wasn't just the loss of all day Friday, but then I got thinking about how full my schedule this week is going to be in general, and then I started looking around the house at all the things I DIDN'T accomplish (instead of the things I had) and really started to feel panicky.

And then I remembered that I can now work from home! It was such a huge weight taken off my shoulders. I realized that i could do some work tonight, which would relieve my load tomorrow (Tuesday is my busiest day of the week, typically, where I'm gone most of the day until about 9pm) and I could come home the rest of the week at the regularly scheduled time and do my work from home. I actually go excited to sit down here at work on payroll! Haha... talk about a shift in perspective. :)

I will be posting just as soon as I can get all these pictures I've taken since Christmas off my new, gorgeous, amazing, beautiful, wonderful camera. I've been so busy (and/or sick) since Christmas that I haven't even installed the software yet! Now that's busy!

Ladies, thank you all so much for you beautiful comments on my posts, especially Fitness Friday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Little Fitness Friday Humor...

Hee hee hee... this made me laugh.

Fitness Friday


I have decided to join Fitness Fridays with Brenda and the gang over at The Family Revised, whom I discovered over at Terry's blog. Fridays seem like a good day for me to evaluate the week behind and what I have accomplished (or not) and i really like Brenda's Christ-centred focus on overall health and well-being.

It just so happens that she is asking today for the ladies involved to state their goals. As I said in my first post on this subject last week, right now I am only setting myself a few goals at a time, and not terribly lofty ones, becuase in the past when I have set myself many tough goals all at once, whenever I failed in the slightest I would get so upset with myself that I would become discourgaged and give up all together.

But I think it's good to talk about some overall goals for myself, long-term, even if I am not expecting myself to meet them right away.

Immediate Goals:

1. Workout at least 3 times a week for 40 minutes
2. Meditate and memorize Matthew 4:4 and Psalm 73:26


Overall Goals: Food

1. Eat little to know sugar (I have given sugar up in the past and have lost tons of weight and just felt better overall)
2. Eat very few refined carbohydrates (I find they do nothing for me except pack on the pounds, and are devoid of nutrtional content. This would include white rice, bread, pastas, etc).
3. Eat only healthy fats (Olive oil, fish oils, small amounts of butter and animal fats; no low-grade vegetable oils, reduced saturated animal fats, NO hydrogenated or trans fats)
4. If I can manage the above three, I won't have to worry about getting in my five fruits and veggies, because I'll be doing it almost by default

Overall Goals: exercise

1. I want to be working out at least five times a week, eventually.
2. I want to be fit. I want to be able to go hiking or cross-country skiing with some friends, and not feel like the fat girl that hold everyone up, or can't do it at all. I want to feel comfortable in my body, not so inflexible and immobile as I do now.

Overall Goals: Spiritual

I want to truly believe, and live out, Matthew 4:4, which says that "Man shall not live by bread alone but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Jesus Christ said this at a time of great, great temtptation, in the state of near-starvation, and I have a hard time remembering it when I'm reaching for the fifth cookie after a filling dinner. I want to have food in it's proper perspective, and I want ot be so in love with Christ that I don't need food, or even want it, to fill up those places in my heart and mind where only my Savior should live.

Numbers:

I'd like to get to around 120 as an ultimate weight goal, as that is what my doctor told me would be healty. But to be totally honest, I would be trilled to get under 130. I wouldn't be overweight anymore if I made it to 130, and I would be so much more healthy and light.




Progress Thus Far


As far as how my last couple of weeks have gone, I have been more or less sticking to my goals. Last week I worked out three times for at least 40 minutes, as stated, and I did mediated frequently on Matthew 4:4 and Pslam 73:26, both of which I have memorized. I won't lie and say that it had a very big effect on what I put in my mouth, but I was at least thinking about it, and it made me more aware of what I was eating, which is a good, slow step in the right direction for me, as usually I try to cut everything out all at once,a nd restrict my portions at the same time, and end up feeling insane and defeated.

This week has been a bit tougher and I've only been to the gym twice. But I still have tomorrow and Sunday before the week us up, and I do plan to workout at least one of those two days, even if it's just taking a long walk outside.

It is amazing to me how totally out of shape I am. Two summers ago I reached my lowest weight since college, about 139 lbs. At that point, I was exercising pretty regularly,and could easily jog a couple of miles (slowly, mind you, but still), and could work out every day of the week and only feel great because of it. Now, back at about 180 lbs, my poor body is not only our of shape but so heavy, that working out is very difficult. Where I once could easily jog, now I can walk, and not that fast, to keep in my target heart range. My ankles are very sore when I am walking on the treadmill, and I find myself wanting to break into a jog just to relieve the tension in the muscles by using them differently, but if I got for more than a minute at a time my heart rate shoots way up out of my range. I find mypoor ankles are so weak that it is distracting while I am trying to exersice; the rest of my body is fine, my cardio and heart rate are doing well, but I wan to stop because of my ankles! I can't ever remember this being a problem, and further demonstrates to me how heavy and out of shape I have allowed myself to become.

One really great outcome of getting up to workout is that I am being so much more regular in my devotional times in the morning. I have to be up for at least 30-40 minutes before I can brave the Canadian winter in the dark to get to the gym, so this gives me time to spend in prayer and in the word, while I warm up with a cup of coffee. I have always known that devotionals and exercise go hand in hand... it's just the discipline of doing them that is the trick.

Because I am still housesitting and don't have access to a scale I don't actually know what my weight is. I'll get to see tomorrow, though.

Yikes! Another long post! My readership seems to have dropped off since the inauguration... if you ladies were hesitant to comment on political posts, or you just disagreed with me, fear not... I will be back to posting homemaking content starting this weekend, when I get to go home!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Housewifely Reads

The missing Amazon shipment finally came this week and I received my last two Christmas presents from my beloved. Two more great books I am so excited to read, and have already began reading each by reading their introductions.

The American Woman's Home by Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe
Now THIS is a gem of a book. Stowe is best known for her abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, but both Beecher sisters were active in their day for the advancement of education, especially for women and the underprivileged. The Beecher sisters believed that Women's work, and the domain of the household, was not only valuable, but holy and God-ordained industry that had never been valued equally with the industries of men. They sought to raise domestic sciences and arts to the level of other professions that either required or were aided by a degree, and this book was a text-book for women on all the practices of homemaking.

It is fantastic. The chapters are extesnive, on everything from food preparation, sewing, food preserving, financial management, etc. I am making notes and will give a proper review in good time.


Victorian London: the life of a city 1840-1870 by Liza Picard was another top-of-my-list book this year. I love cultural history, and Picard is known for her in-depth look at British life during different eras of history. She is wonderful with descriptions of what life was really like. As a history major in university I know all too well how many history books are often names, dates, locations of battles, etc. What's great about writers like Picard is that they really put flesh on the bones of history, and give you a glimpse not only into specific events in history but the lives of people who made those events happen. The first chapter is called "Smells", and is a fantastic, and horrifying, look at what London sewage and public hygene was like in the early part of the Victorian era. Other chapters are going to cover transportation, housing, governance, fashion, food, etc. Fascinating!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ELLEN is the last Cylon??


Ugh!

Caleb and I finally got to watch the season premier of BSG last night. Was anyone else disappointed with this development? Come on, my fellow Nerdistas- tell me the truth... what did you think?

I thought it was so.... anti-climactic. So... unexciting. So... lame.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can you remember...


...the last time we had a first couple that looked this cool?

I know envy is wrong... but would you just *look* at Michelle in that dress? Amazing.

Talk about Housekeeping...

In the spirit of the innaugaration today, I thought I'd share this clip I found from Good Morning America that details the rapid-fire, 4 hours complete changeover at the white house from one family's residence to another's. Pretty crazy!

Where are you, Mary Jane?

I was really enjoying Miss Mary Jane's new blog A day in the life of a Retro Housewife, which I used to find here:

a-keeper-at-home.blogspot.com

but now I notice that I can't access her blog, that it says it has been removed.

Mary Jane, are you out there? I hope you didn't give up blogging so soon... I was really enjoying your blog!

Also, MaryJane, if you read this, I have removed the "Proud to be a Retro Housewife" icon from my web page that links to your site. If you get your site back up and running let me know, and I'll repost it!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Armchair Confessional VII: Church


I must confess, ladies, that I really don't feel like going these days. Caleb and I switched churches earlier in the year because after over four years at the same church, he was just unable to connect with any of the men (and this was after being in three different men's group). It's nothing against the church we attended, great church, great people, we just sort of surmised that maybe people were maxed out on their relaionship quotas. It's a very small town where we were attending church and about 90% of the people who attend are from the same six or seven families and all grew up together. I think they just didn't "need" to make new connections and so Caleb just couldn't get in there.

So now we are at a much smaller church in the city, and Caleb really likes it. He's joined the men's group and he's making connectiions, building relationships. Which is wonderful! The problem is, their only small group for women is on Tuesday nights, which is the night I do Awanna at our old church, and I don't want to stop going to that for lots of reasons (I will post on another time). So... I just don't feel very connected there. And because our attendence has been off and on since we've been there, as I travelled a lot this year, I always sort of feel like people are saying to me, "oh, you're here this week!" or "where have you been?" And while that sort of accountability is precisely what we wanted in a small church, I end up feeling like it's just judgemental nagging (which I KNOW it isn't... it's just my flesh thing) and my too-many-people-in-a-room-I-don't-know anxiety REALLY rears it's ugly head every Sunday morning. I'm about to get in the shower to get ready to go and... my stomach is in knots.

I'd appreciate prayer on this one, ladies. I pray all of your times of worship and fellowship are great today!

Friday, January 16, 2009

2008 in Review


I saw this questionarre over at Walking on Sunshine, and I thought I'd love to do this. I've been wanting to do a "year in review" for 2008 on this blog for posterity but haven't really had the time or the brain space to devote to thinking up a way to do it. Well, here is one.

I would just LOVE if you blog friends would do this as well.. it would be a good way to help me get to know you better. Just leave a comment if you're doing it. Also, if you don't have a blog, you could just answer these in the comments by just putting the number and then your answer.

And thank you all for your encouragement on Think Thin Thursdays; I am very encouraged. :)

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Held my nephew, went to Florida, bought a dog, went on vacation with just my hubby, looked for a church.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I'm usually opposed to NY Resolutions on principle... I'd rather make a resolution a different day. :)

3. Did anyone close to you die? A friend of mine from church was killed by her husband, and on a much less grevious note my rabbit died.

4. What countries did you visit? The US (New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida), Canada (Ontario), and Bermuda

5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A small butt and a better walk with the Lord.

6. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? July 10, 2008: The day my nephew was born. Mid-December: When my nephew cam home from the hospital Election day: despite my feelings about Obama's stance on abortion, I was still moved and excited to see this change in politics, and couldn't help but be moved by history being made. Day we bought Stuart: our little maltese, at the end of April.

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Being a better housekeeper (by no means perfect, but better)

8. What was your biggest failure? Gaining weight and not abiding in Christ

9. Did you suffer illness or injury? No, praise the Lord!

10. What was the best thing you bought? Tie: The Christmas Tree for my nephew's hospital room with my home-made ornaments on them, and our dog Stuart.

11. Where did most of your money go? Rent, food, GAS! Hello!, Caleb's business start up costs, Vacation to Bermuda, Trips to visit family, Stuart and Bunny vet bills, DVDs!!!

12. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Devon being born, getting Stuart, my trip to visit my aunt in Florida, Caleb's business starting and doing so well

13. What song will always remind you of 2008? "A change is gonna come" by Sam Cooke

14. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? I am...happier and fatter (so not so happy about being fat, but overall...)

15. What do you wish you’d done more of? Work out! Be at home, praying and reading God's word.

16. What do you wish you’d done less of? Eating and sitting.

17. What was your favorite TV program? Lost, Battlestar Gallactica, The Prisoner, Fringe

18. What was the best book you read? The Brothers Karamzov (still haven't finsihed it, but it is so good!)

19. What did you want and not get? Pregnant. haha... :)

20. What did you do on your birthday? Forgot it. Honestly... I got up, went to church, came home and found a message on my machine from my dad wishing me a happy birthday. Caleb and I looked at eachother and went, "It's MY/YOUR Birthday!!!" We are totally useless about birhtdays. Then he took me out to chapters and bought me a latte and a book... so it was a good one. :)

21. What one thing would has made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being able to be home more, not having my family so far away, and not being so darned fat.

22. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Ha! Trying to find something to fit my ever-expanded booty.

23. What kept you sane? The grace of God, making more time at home, the love of my husband, and honestly, cuddles from my dog stuart

24. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Fancy? As in have a crush on? I thought the actor who plays peter petrelli on Heroes was pretty cute. I was probably most interested in Obama, though, if that's what it means.

25. Who did you miss? My immediate family, my nephew, and my Aunts Sue and Sheila.

26. Who was the best new person you met? Devon! He's such a little trooper and I love him to pieces. And if dogs count, gotta be Stuart. :)

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. That God really did design roles in marriage, for a purpose. That I am happiest when I am home, that loving sacrificially does lead to more joy and peace than pushing for your own personal desires, and that miracles do happen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thinking Thin

I must tell you that I do this with a great deal of trepidation. I wouldn't know where to begin to start talking about my journey with weight and health in a way that would capture my story without making this post 8 thousand words. Suffice it to say, it has been an up and down, back and forth, success then failure road that has found me today, at 181 lbs, the heaviest I have probably ever been, or very close to it, after having gotten down to 138 only less than two years ago. Each time I have made a truly earnest attempt at weight loss, and have been successful, I have blogged about it. There are now two dead fitness blogs floating out there in the E-cosmos like satellites-turned-space junk orbiting the planet.

I have not mentioned weight or fitness or eating or dieting on this blog yet, largely because I want the blog to be about homemaking, but also because I am so reticent to discuss it publicly. When you have had success and then failure, and it has been known by those you know, you get to a rather deep point of embarrassment where you are not only ashamed of having fallen off the wagon you once tried to get others to join you on, but you also become wary of telling anyone when you have thoughts of giving it another try. You figure surely people will think, "sure... sure you're going to lose weight.. like the three other times before you tried and then gained it back." And while that's probably being paranoid and not giving people credit for being supportive and hopeful, if they did think that, thy would not be outside the truth. And if they aren't thinking it, I am: each time I fail it makes it all the more difficult to believe I could ever be successful again, and makes the belief that I could ever have total victory in this area even tinier.

And yet as a follower of Christ I know that in my weakness, God's strength is perfected. And I know that the power to change is there for the taking, that the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to help me put aside the old man and put on the newness of my creation in Christ. But the thing is... I have to reach out and take it. I have to stop cherishing the sins of laziness and overindulgence, and desire God's will in my life more than my own comfort and convenience. I have to accept that God disciplines those he loves, and that trials are there for the purpose of our learning and getting closer to the Lord, and to realize that this body is His temple and if I don't even feel like living it in most of the time, imagine how the Lord of Heaven and Earth must feel.

And this is where I am today. One thing I have definitely learned from my past experiences with weight loss and fitness is that I always, always without fail set way too high goals and expectations for myself from the start. I have read every book on nutrition, exercise, and health out there (or it sure feels like it), and I know from education and from experience what works and what makes me lose weight. And because I know what it takes and because I know what having a truly healthy lifestyle looks like, once I get determined to make a change I tell myself I have to go from stagnation to sprinting, and from feasting to famine. I would tell myself if I wasn't at the gym 5 days a week for an hour or more, and if I didn't give up ever bit of "bad food", I wasn't really "doing it". And this has not worked. I am so terribly self-critical when I don't meet the goals I set for myself, and this only leads to further discouragement and defeat.

This time the very first goal I am setting myself it to make realistic goals. In the past this idea would have sounded weak to me, like making an excuse, like I really wasn't committed to changing. But now I see that, ifI make myself realistic goals, and can meet them, then I will only feel encouraged and excited to continue and keep going.

In this vein, the first two weight loss goals I am setting myself are as follows:

1. Workout (at least) 3 times a week, for 40 minutes or more

2. Memorize and meditate on the following verses:


Matthew 4:4- But He answered, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

Pslam 73:26- My flesh and my heart may fail, but the Lord is the rock of my heart and my portion forever.

And I am glad to say that, as of today, I am on my way to keeping this goal for the week. I have gone to the gym twice now, first thing in the morning, and I have memorized those two verses (I typed them out from memory just now). My start date for this week was Monday, the 12th, and I want to keep these two goals, and these two goals alone, for a month. After the middle of February, if I am feeling strong in these goals, I will add two more.

This was a long post, and one I really didn't have time to write, because I am SO up to my eyeballs in work right now, and have little freetime with the housesitting responsibilites we have, but I just had to get this down in writing. Thank you to every single one of you who actually read this all the way through, and if you are in the same place I am, feeling like you don't dare give it another shot but you know you can't keep living the way you have, join in with this MeMe and just be honest, with yourself and with others.

God bless you and may the Lord give us all the strength we need to obey Him this week.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Blogger Ladies, I need your help!


Just poking my head in, having just enough time to catch up on reading the blogroll and checking my messages. Thanks so much for your supportive comments, ladies,a nd your thoughts and prayers for me at this busy time. It means so much!

Wondering if any of you with great blogs can help me? I see that many of you have blogger blogs but somehow manage to have "page elements" on both sides of your post texts. I can only get the page elements to go the right of my blog posts, and when I have looked at the available templates, they all seem to have page elements available only on one side of the page.

So, could some of you be help me to me and tell me how you manage to get page elements (by which of course I mean any widget you have, be in a link or a picutre or whatever) on BOTH sides of the text box? That would be splendid, thank you!

And the house sitting goes well. We love spending time with Caleb's younger brother, Jamin, he's a great kid (17, but I'm so old now that's a kid!) and his younger sister Beth, who has an apartment downstairs, sticks her head in from time to time, too. We went to IKEA yesterday and I spent a few hours coveting (bad!) but used our gift certificates from Christmas to get new silverware, a new non-Christmas Apron, and some other household goodies (good!).

I'm following all your blog posts, ladies, even if I don't have time to comment. Love to you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bugged Out

Well, just as I was getting over my sinus infection, on January 2nd Caleb wakes up and says, "I'm not feeling so well. I think I might throw up." And this is a big deal because my hubby rarely, if ever, gets sick.

Turns out he had a terrible stomach virus. I mean: B-A-D. My poor guy spent the better part of his day and night for about 48 hours in the bathroom. I did the best I could to nurse him without getting right in his face, as we marvelled that I had not also caught whatever he caught, and didnt' want to contract this ugly bug.

And then, just as Caleb was sitting down to eat his first meal (soup and crackers), a sure sign he was on the mend, I had a terrible feeling in my stomach as I ate my soup. I convinced myself at first that it was just the diet pop I had been drinking (I can't have very much of that stuff, and shouldn't have any!), and was determined to finish cleaning my bedroom after dinner. As the chore went on, I got increasingly sick feeling, and after sitting down with Caleb for about ten minutes, I was in the bathroom myself.

Now, I know that no one comes to a homemaking blog to hear graphic details about the flu virus, but let me just tell you that without a doubt this was the most violent bug that I have had in memory. I'm sure I had something worse as a kid, but since I can fully remember, this guy takes the cake. Riotous is the word that comes to mind. Terrible is the best descriptor over all.

I am definitely on the mend but am still light-headed and weak (and considering I've had nothing in my system but gingerale and a few crackers for three days it's no wonder) and am useless for anything productive. I did manage to sign on to email today and see if there were any fires to put out, and do this blog entry, but as soon as I click "publish post" it's back to the couch for me. My beloved has been so sweet and nurturing during my sickness, probably in part because he experienced it himself so fully, but my house is really in need of me to get better, and better before the end of the day so I can at the very least put the clean dishes from three days ago away!! I have thought more than once on the goodness of God's timing that Caleb and I did not get the flu at the same time.. that would have been literally impossible.

Back to mending... I pray all of your new years' were much more "well" than ours!