Friday, June 4, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday


Wow. What a week. Crazy stuff has been happening around here. I thought summer was supposed to be a more laid-back season. Uh, yeah. Not so I've noticed. We have been going non-stop with no end in sight.


Bookaddict has graduated high school. Four down, six to go. She's planning to take a year off to pursue her writing. She's one of the most disciplined people I know when it comes to her writing. Almost every day, she's up before anyone else, working on it. My novel would be finished by now if I was that disciplined. Hmm. Something else to work on.


Bookaddict and Guitarzan are serving as interns at our church's summer camp. They are leaving Sunday and will essentially be gone until the end of July. We've been running hither and thither to make sure they have everything they need to that time. It's a wonderful program that provides leadership training and the opportunity to utilize what they've learned.


I have so many things I want to accomplish this summer. I have major house shoveling out, er, I mean, decluttering,  projects to do.The first one on the schedule is redoing the front room to make it a highly functional office/workspace. I have boxes to go through, bookshelves to assemble, craft and sewing stuff to organize, schoolbooks to shelve and supplies to organize. Oh, and I also have several boxes of papers to sort and file or shred. Ugh. It's going to be glorious when it's finished, but right now it just looks like a lot of hard work.


I have piles of reading to do. I already had a lot with the various reading challenges I entered and then I got into book reviewing. Now I have books arriving in the mail that are starting to pile up. I definitely need to carve out some time this summer to get some reading done. Perhaps I should declare the hottest part of the afternoon to be rest and reading time.


Spitfire is still here visiting and we are having adventures. We've done some fun shopping and she's been a tremendous help with getting the interns ready to go.  She's also keeping me well supplied with makeup, skincare and cologne. She sells Avon and is constantly running across something for Bookaddict and I to try. She's helping with the War on Frumpiness. Now, if I can just remember to use all of it.

The other day we had car trouble and it took us almost two hours to get home (normally a twenty minute trip). At one point we were stranded on an overpass with big trucks zooming around us. Not fun. Fortunately, after the car sat a bit, we were able to get off the overpass and out on a less-traveled road.


Speaking of the War on Frumpiness, it's been a slow painful battle with many casualties. Some of these include my collection of baggy t-shirts and some lazy habits. Both keep trying to resurrect and creep back in. Old habits die hard. Let's face it, the reason it's such a battle, is it's easier to throw on some mom jeans or sweats and a baggy shirt, run a comb or brush through your hair and stick it in a ponytail and go along your merry way. Skincare and makeup and fixing hair take time and effort. Looking for cute , stylish tops that fit in your budget takes time and effort.  When those things become habit, it's gets easier. The time has been carved out and you just do it. It doesn't take any more time to put on a cute top than to pull on a baggy T.

A small victory was scored yesterday when I found two tops, in the exact colors I needed for choir performances next week, hanging on a clearance rack. They are both a flattering style and a nice, inexpensive addition to my wardrobe. This is great timing. We have a major skirmish coming up next week, when our church is doing a week-long conference flanked by weekend church days and I have to look put together every day for nine days straight. Help! Send reinforcements!


I hope you have had a wonderful week. A special shout-out goes all the Home Sanctuary Coffee Girls stopping by. For more of 7 Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary. Have an awesome week!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The War on Frumpiness: Weight Issues and Self Confidence

One of the things that frequently contributes to feelings of frumpiness for me is knowing I'm a few (OK, quite a few) pounds over optimal for my body. It makes clothes shopping a hassle and getting dressed to go somewhere a chore. When I'm conscious of every bump and bulge, it's hard to walk tall and be confident. One thing leads to another, and pretty soon I'm wearing baggy clothes to cover up and blowing off putting on makeup or jewelry. I develop a "why bother" attitude and let myself go. This is a sure path to frumpdom.

The good news is that summer is the ideal time to deal with your body. Some of the best things about summer work on your behalf. How hard is it to eat a piece of grilled meat and a big salad, have a nice glass of iced tea with lemon, and finish off with a big slice of ice cold watermelon? Congratulations. You just had an awesome diet meal. Fresh fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories and loaded with antioxidants. Lean grilled meats provide protein to build muscle and are great for your hair and skin. Wanting something sweet besides fruit? Ice pops are low cal and low fat too. Juice bars are a little higher but have more going for them nutritionally. Italian ice is easy on the hips as well.

It's also an easy time to get active. Go swimming, walking or play with the kids in the yard. It's a great time to be outdoors and moving around. Just make sure you don't overdo the sun and heat and that you stay hydrated.

While we're making positive strides on the bumps and bulges, let's talk about attitude. One of my favorite movies is The Last Holiday. In that movie, Georgia Byrd, played by Queen Latifah,  goes from a quiet, plain, frumpy woman slogging through life to a vibrant, exciting woman who had decided to embrace life and milk it for all it's worth. The transformation is startling. I love the part when she goes shopping and is trying on a ton of different looks. When she finishes, she is stunning and is turning heads when she walks into the room. She carries herself with grace and style and confidence despite the fact that she's not a size 2.

We can do the same thing. We may not be able to walk in an expensive shop and tell them to make us over, but we can find attractive clothing within our own budget and wear it with confidence. What changes are you making in your war on frumpiness?

Top Ten {Tuesday}: Ten Terrific Things About Summer

1. School's Out!
In the past we've done school pretty much year-round, but the last few years we had to stop because I have kids going to camp at different times and one or two interning for the summer. Now I have a two month break to plan and dream and purchase curriculum.

2. Lemonade
Not that nasty powdered stuff or even the artificially sweetened, artificially colored stuff in a bottle. I'm talking the real-deal, perfect combination of tart and sweet that quenches thirst like nothing else.

3. Popsicles
Be a kid again. Eat them fast to prevent drips. Cherry, lime, grape, orange, banana...What's your favorite?

4. Long Days
Hopefully, the longer period of sunshine is being used for fun, but even work is nicer when the sun is shining.

5. Eating outdoors
Summer is the time of picnics and cookouts. What is it about eating in the great outdoors? I don't know, but it's special enough that my kids will ask if they can take a peanut butter sandwich and go sit out on the porch to eat it. And almost nothing tops the smell of food cooking on a grill.

6. Fireworks on the 4th of July
Whether a huge commercial display or occasional flashes of light appearing over rooftops, I love fireworks. I never really cared for shooting them off myself though. The ultimate for me is fireworks combined with music displayed over water like in Austin and Boston.

7.Playing in the water
Beaches, lakes, pools, sprinklers...take your pick. Whether you're surfing, swimming, sailing, tubing, wading in a creek, or running through a sprinkler, a great way to escape the heat of summer is to get wet.

8. Summer nights
Fireflies and stargazing. "Nough said.

9. Ice cream
You can pick up a carton or cone just about anywhere and cool off in a hurry. Anyone else remember homemade ice cream on the porch with a little kid sitting on the freezer while everyone took turns cranking until only the strongest men could turn it? That's still the best.

10. Vacation
Whether you're going on vacation to some exotic locale or major sightseeing spot, or doing a staycation and exploring your local area, this is a time for fun and hopefully relaxation. The number one vacation mistake is scheduling so much in that you need a rest when you get back.

To see other fun top 10 lists, be sure to visit oh Amanda.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Food for Thought--Memorial Day Edition

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Thank you to all the former and current members of our Armed Forces for the sacrifices you have made and continue to make for the freedom of us all.

Quirky Quote

She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say "when." 
--P.G. Wodehouse

Blog Challenge: Best Friends

This month's blog challenge at Bloggy Moms is on the subject of best friends, so I have to write about my friend that I'll call November. We met in junior year of high school. It was an inauspicious beginning, complete with insults, but it was a beginning nevertheless. We hit it off and became nearly inseparable throughout the remainder of high school. November left for college right after school to start with the summer session, while I stayed behind and ended up living in her room for a couple months while my mom was out of town.

In the fall, I joined her at college and we were roommates. Let's just say that two only children should not share a dorm room and leave it at that. It's a testament to the depth of our friendship that we survived the ordeal with our friendship intact. Then things got crazy. November got engaged and found an apartment. I got married after first semester and moved with my dh. We saw each other off and on the next semester and then lost touch as we went our own ways.

The great thing about true friends is that you can go months without talking to them, but when you do, it's like no time has passed at all. For the next couple of years, we would go months without talking and then catch up with each other again. Every time we talked, it was like old times. It's been like that ever since. We've kept up via letter, phone, email and now, Facebook. Over the years, we've weathered deaths of parents, infertility, straying children, a straying husband, divorce, health issues, and the general blessings and hassles of life. We've laughed together, prayed together, cried together and unloaded on each other.

A really crazy thing that can't even be explained is, although we've been best friends since high school, neither of us attended the other's wedding. However, that was recently made right, when I had the honor to attend November's second wedding, which was combined with a renewal of vows ceremony for those in attendance. I stood right next to the happy couple while they exchanged vows and right next to my wonderful dh at the same time and we reaffirmed ours. It was an incredible moment I'll never forget.

It will be 20 years this fall (I'm feeling old now), since we were first acquainted and I still count November among my best and dearest friends. She has impacted my life in so many ways and I thank God for the privilege of being her friend.