Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Practical Prosperity Magick #witchesread

Practical Prosperity Magick; Crafting Success and Abundance by Ellen Dugan was the Read-A-Long book for the Witchipedia for the month of July and I just finished it a few days ago and have been chewing on it since. There is some good information in this book, but I really really do not like the delivery. First I should say that I came to the book a bit prejudiced because I do not like this author. I have read other books by her and been absolutely turned off by her overly dramatic personality, negative attitude and a gossipy, condescending tone. I will explain.
Throughout the whole book she writes like she probably talks and she makes a lot of assumptions about the reader, like that we don't know anything at all about magic. She says things like "believe it or not, that's right, I said it, it's true!" (okay, maybe not all those words in one sentence, that would be ridiculous) She also puts in a lot of cutesy words that are entirely unnecessary, particularly adjectives. Saying things like "your witchy fingers". Honestly, there are so many unnecessary words of cuteness and fun that the book could be half its size if you took them out. This sort of cute, conversational writing might make some people smile and feel more at ease, but it just made my brain hurt and my jaw clench and is probably why it took me over a month to read this book. I had to take frequent breaks.

She begins the book with a story of how she cast a prosperity spell, was soon offered a job that she hated, was forced to work with people she did not like and ultimately, through this job, met someone she got along with well who offered her yet another job that matched her skills, which she did not accept. This story is replete with personal details about the people she doesn't like, so that anyone who lives in her town could easily know exactly who the pregnant woman with no sense of humor is talking about. I feel like this is unprofessional and perhaps unethical. She goes on and on about the reason why her prosperity spell didn't work out was because she wasn't in the proper mind-set when she cast the spell. But it did work. It put her into the situation she needed to be in to cross paths with the person she needed to meet to get the job she wanted. But she didn't take it. That's her fault. The universe did the best it could and she gave it the middle finger. And then wrote a book about it.

She goes on to explain some various concepts of higher magic than she usually rights about, Hermetic principals, planetary seals, etc. and she clearly doesn't understand them fully but instead tries to squeeze them into her Goddess-centered Wiccan-esque (I mean by this that her path seems to be Wiccan-like, but not strictly) worldview. This may not be as big an issue for some people as it for me, but it is one of my pet peeves. Of course, it probably all works out fine in the end, so I shouldn't stress it.

Another pet peeve of mine is the random calling of any old God and Goddess to "work with" in magic based solely on sphere of influence, regardless of pantheon or personal relationship. She does this a lot. There are a bunch of completely unrelated Gods and Goddesses in there, some she clearly has no real experience with. (But I did notice a distinct lack of Mercury or Hermes, which  I thought was strange since Hermes is my go-to guy for all things related to money, luck and employment.) I know that these things don't bother everyone. I am probably actually in the minority so, take that for what it's worth.

The spells are okay. They're sound and would probably work out just fine, assuming you actually know the Gods she works with. They aren't Gods I'm overly familiar with either, so I can't tell. I don't like her rhymes. They lack rhythm. And precision. But this isn't a book of poetry. You should come up with your own rhymes anyway, so it doesn't matter too much. She leaves room for customization, which I feel is very important. I don't agree with a lot of her definitions, but there's nothing damaging there, so it's probably not that big a deal.

In short, I did not like the book but I was able to get some good information out of it. If your world view is Wiccan, you'll probably like it better than I did, assuming the author's personality doesn't turn you off. I got a lot more out of Financial Sorcery by Jason Miller.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

On Sharing the Bathroom with Trans-Gender Folks

Since it seems to be a hot topic of late, I thought I'd chime in. You know, just for fun. It looks like fun.

If you look like a girl, dress like a girl, talk like a girl, walk like a girl, I am not even going to notice you walking into the lady's room. If you look like a man, talk like a man, walk like a man, I am and I'm going to wonder what the hell you're doing in girly land. I will probably try to help you out by kindly pointing out that you're in the wrong place, or I might wonder out loud if I'm in the wrong place. I am certainly not going to check if you have a penis. If you don't have a penis and proceed to explain that to me, we're just going to both be embarrassed. Your penis or lack thereof is not my business. It makes much more sense for someone who lives as a man to go where he won't draw attention and for someone who lives as a woman to do likewise. After all, going to the bathroom in a public restroom is awkward enough without having to explain yourself.

That all being said, we need more gender neutral bathrooms. It is awkward when you have a passel of kids to get all of their excretory needs handled when you can't go in the bathroom with all of them. This is especially troublesome for the dad who must parade his little girl past a bunch of guys using urinals.  And then you have a six year old of the opposite gender insisting that he or she is too old to go in the "wrong" bathroom and you have the choice of risking sending him or her into the "right" bathroom unsupervised, standing awkwardly at the door imagining all sorts of nightmarish scenarios until they get done playing with every automatic faucet and electric dryer they can find and wander out, or having a giant meltdown in the movie theater lobby.

All of this can be prevented with gender neutral bathrooms. Kids of all ages, mothers, fathers, transgender, boys, girls, etc. All welcome. Pee here for free.  And then, if a transgender person walks into the gender neutral bathroom, all the paranoid mothers who think that people just decide to be transgender to make it easier to rape women and molest children can stand there and watch while the transgender people go in the stall, do their thing, come out, wash their hands and leave and ensure that they don't touch their precious darlings and infect them with their proclivities.

What we need to do is ban germ freaks from public bathrooms because they're annoying. I am so tired of having to clean up some other woman's pee because she can't sit on the seat for fear of germs. If you have to hover, why can't you clean up after yourself? Because you might touch where someone else's butt touched? Doesn't it make more sense to touch your butt to that spot? No? You don't want to touch it at all. So I have to clean up your pee so that I can sit!! That's freaking gross. And the coverers are just as bad leaving their paper all over the place so I have to clean it up and flush it before I can go. WTF people. Let's focus on the real problems in the public rest rooms. Hoverers and coverers! Damn you all!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Unboxing Citrus Lane #favoritethings

So one little indulgence I decided to sign up for when my husband got his job back and I was feeling flush for the first time in months is a membership to Citrus Lane for my Sunshine who is two and a half. We get a box every week of fruits and vegetables from Door to Door Organics and he is always super-excited to open it up. So I thought he'd love a box that was just or him full of age-appropriate mystery stuff.

The box arrived with the mail. It didn't fit in the box so our mail carrier had to come up our drive and ring our bell. This was very exciting. Nobody ever rings our bell. The package was smaller than I expected but the perfect size for a two year old to carry into the living room all by himself. I had to cut a piece of packing tape that was holding it shut, and then he was able to open the box by himself as well. This was very exciting.

Please excuse the stains on my carpet. Kids live here.

Inside we found a little tea set, some flash cards, a cute little ice pack and a coupon for a free language video download and a note from Citrus Lane explaining what everything was.

This is the Tea for Two set from Green Toys. The little tag says that it is 100% recycled plastic, made in the USA and free of BPA, phthalates and PVC. Good thing because the first thing he wanted to do was make tea and drink it. I made him special blueberry "tea" by tossing a few blueberries in the blender with some water and putting it in his new tea pot. His day was made. Especially when I put some graham crackers on a plate. It's just the two cups, two saucers and a tea pot with a lid. I love that it's gender neutral. It's also nice and sturdy, it has a wide lid that fits snugly (doesn't fall off while pouring) but is easy to remove and it says it's dishwasher safe. Not that I own a dishwasher. Anyway, he played with this thing all day, then took it in the tub, and then insisted on used it to serve his daddy some milk before bed (don't worry, I washed it. Super easy to clean.). I'd say this one is definitely a win.

I know most people associate flash cards with unpleasant things like cramming for finals and math drills but Sunshine loves flashcards. He loves anything with a picture and a word to go with it. So the Alphabet Art animals A-Z flashcards from PetitCollage were a good, age-appropriate call (even though the package says ages 3 and up because kiddos who chew on them could bite off bits). I love these flashcards. I admit, I love them more than he does. They are gorgeous. They are also nice and simple. I hate flashcards with a lot of busy imagery. They lose the point. We're not learning Tarot here. But look at those beautiful pictures! I think I am going to use these to decorate his room when I finally get around to doing it. In fact, they are inspiring me to get around to doing it. The cards are about the size of a standard greeting card and they are good, thick card stock. I think Sunshine thought they were greeting cards, he kept asking me to "Ope it" for him. Sturdy, gorgeous and packaged in a nice, sturdy box you can put them back into when they're not in use. What more is there to want? Oh yes, they're made from recycled materials and vegetable based inks. My one complaint: V is for Viper. Really? My kid knows that's a snake. There is no convincing him otherwise!

The little ice pack is Cool it Buddy by Me4Kidz. It is cute, flexible and soft so that you don't have to wrap it up in something else and dilute the cold before you apply it. It's also just the right size for a bump. Sunshine wasn't impressed at first and didn't want to model it, but once it was frozen it became very interesting and he enjoyed putting it on his head, and my head and the head of anyone else who would hold still for him. I have no idea where it is right now. The search continues. I'm going to be annoyed if I can't find it when he has a bump.

The fourth and final surprise was a free language video download from I could choose from 11 languages and I chose Spanish because I figure it's the one he's most likely to run into in life and MrRabbit and I both took Spanish so we know a little. Latin wasn't an option. The video was cute and he liked it okay. He kept laughing at them saying names of food in Spanish and "correcting" them with the English word. I'm not sure that's how it's supposed to go. But I was a little irritated that I had to download it onto my computer. I don't want him using my computer. I feel like there are videos that are just as good available for free on Youtube (which he can watch on all sorts of devices that aren't my computer). I went ahead and downloaded the app for Kindle and it was just okay.

Finally, the box. It's a good box. It's a nice, sturdy reusable box. So I stuffed it with shoes and a coat that no longer fit my Sunshine to send off to my husband's friend, who I am told has a 1 year old. I am excited to use future boxes for craft projects. We shall see.

The final verdict on the Citrus Lane Box? I signed up for the 6 month subscription which is $21 a box and I had a coupon so it was a little less. Did I get $21 worth of merchandise that I liked in this box? Yes, I believe I did. The tea set and flash cards are probably worth somewhere around $20 each on their own. So, I'd say I got my money's worth and then some. Plus the fun we had just opening the box! This box seriously gave me an entire day when I didn't have to figure out what to do next to entertain my two year old. And I love that they give you information about the manufacturers so I can discover lots of cool new stuff to drool over on their websites. I think we'll do this again next month.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Doing the Laundry

If you haven't been following along, I am following the system at to get my house organized and beautiful as my annual Hearth Day Resolution. This month's habit is laundry and I am pleased to say I am starting strong here.

I had to get into the habit of doing laundry daily when I started using cloth diapers. Otherwise, the whole house stank of pee and poo. But Flylady says we must do this in order to avoid CHAOS (can't have anyone over) which is also nice. She has a specific system for doing laundry which works well for her, but I do it my own way.

My Laundry Routine

Every night after dinner, I gather up laundry. This is triggered by the wash cloths and towels I have at the end of the day from keeping the kitchen area clean. I have a  two year old and don't use paper towels, so it can be a lot. It's not a full load of laundry though; even last Tuesday when he was sick and vomiting all over everything, (carrot juice on my carpet!) it wasn't a full load. So I toss those in the wash machine and grab what's in the dryer and take it upstairs, toss it on my bed and fold it and put it away. Then I peek in the bathroom, around the various bedroom floors, etc. and gather up enough laundry to make a full load, toss it into my recently empty laundry basket and take it downstairs to the laundry room. No, I don't generally sort (I know, this is a crime). At this point we're mostly looking at towels anyway. I start that load and proceed with my evening. Just before bed I transfer that load into the dryer.

In the morning I am usually looking for towels and washcloths to do what needs to be done. Granted, there's often some in the kitchen drawer or on the bathroom shelf, but it's easier just to go downstairs and grab what's out of the dryer. I take those clothes, toss them in a basket and put them at the bottom of the stairs, take the washcloth and dishtowel I need off the top and return to my day. The reason I don't fold them and put them away immediately is because my husband sleeps about two hours longer than me in the morning and I like to fold my laundry on my bed.

When my husband gets up, he wanders in the kitchen and begins puttering around doing I don't know what and generally being in the way. In order to preserve our domestic tranquility, I go back upstairs. I make the bed, bring in the laundry basket and fold and put away my load of towels. Then I gather up the clothes my various family members discarded the night before (often but not always found in their laundry baskets, in their rooms, which I did not previously invade because they were sleeping) and take them downstairs to be washed. Assuming I have a full load, I'll wash them. If not, I just toss them in the washing machine and turn it on later when it's full. By this time, my husband has finished whatever he was doing and wandered back upstairs, so I go back downstairs to finish putting breakfast on. He will return shortly with the little one. Then we can enjoy a nice sit down at the table. This is important, since my husband is rarely home for dinner.

Breakfast is another morning routine that I feel I've got down nicely, but I will share that another day.

Sometimes there is a third load. If I'm washing bedding that day or if there was some extra messy situation or someone just got back from a trip and dumped their suitcase on the laundry room floor. But usually, two loads a day is plenty and sometimes I don't even need to do two.

Clothesline Dreams

I am also considering putting in a clothesline. But you see, my dream clothesline is a big circular rotating thing that I can easily reach off my back deck. My back deck is in desperate need of replacing and it's not in our budget. The clothesline of my fantasy would have to be sunk into a big hole and fixed with cement. I'm not sure if its a good idea to do that sort of permanent installation right next to a structure right next to a future major construction project. Not to mention the fact that there's a certain tree that will need to go away in order to create the perfect sunshine/ventilation situation for the drying of laundry. It's size and nearness to the house means we will have to hire professionals; also not in the budget. The result of all of this thinking: Not only do I not have my perfect outdoor clothesline solution, I have NO outdoor clothes drying solution.

As soon as he wakes up, I am going to give my elder son (who will hereafter be referred to by his super hero name: The Iron Panda) one end of a string and I am going to take the other and we are going to string a clothesline between some trees.

One thing I'm learning from the Flylady is that perfectionism is the enemy of actually getting things done.
Seriously, check her website out if you haven't, she's so cool. And no, I'm not getting paid to say that. I should look into that though.

Magic in the Laundry Room

As a kitchen witch, I take great pleasure in finding little ways to insert more magic into my everyday activities, especially my housekeeping. So of course I'm going to whip up some laundry magic.

One thing I like to do (and I'm not sure you'd call it magic exactly) is to take old nylon socks and pantyhose and fill them with dried herbs, tie a knot in the open end and toss it into the dryer. Lavender is a favorite for this, especially for bedding. It scents the clothes beautifully and naturally and the ugly little sachet can be used about a dozen times before I ultimately toss it. It's a good way to reuse old pantyhose. Other nice options might include cinnamon chips, orange peel, lemon peel, or southern wood. Go with what moves you.

Another kitchen witch I know prefers to put a few drops of essential oil onto a washcloth and toss that into the dryer. This also works well and gives you more choices of fragrances to choose from as many herbs lose their fragrance when dried. It's just a matter of preference and budget. Essential oil costs a bit more, but it is also easier to manage and stores more neatly and compactly. But if you grow herbs, you may want to use what you can pick out of your garden at no extra costs. You can also use leftover citrus peels after you eat the fruit.

Here are a few ideas of herbs or oils to use for their magical properties:
Lavender - Soothing, relaxing, pleasant dreams and good sleep. Try it on your bedding. Ahhh.
Cinnamon - Gently increase the libido, draw love and friendship and money and for protection against general negativity. Try it when you go to a new place and are looking to meet new people.
Cloves- Draws money and luck, protects against gossip and jealousy. Your lucky gambling shirt. Or whatever.
Rosemary - When you have to stay sharp and want to be memorable. A job interview, taking a test at school, etc.
Allspice- Maximum manly sexiness. Also for self-confidence.
Citrus- Including orange, lemon, lime or grapefruit peel for energy and clarity
Southernwood- To stay alert and to repel insects. Your ritual garb perhaps?

PS I am in the market for a new laundry soap recipe. I will be experimenting with them over the next few months and will get back to you when I find one I love. If you've got a recommendation, please feel free to share it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle

When my husband came home from work Monday night he told me Robin Williams was dead. I didn't believe it. He told me he commit suicide. I felt a profound sense of not surprise and then I knew it was true. Robin Williams suffered from mental illness. He fought it bravely. He eventually lost the battle.

I cried. I cried a lot. I am not sure why. Obviously I loved his work. Obviously I grew up watching his movies. Ferngully was my daughter's favorite at one point and we watched it all day everyday for a two month stretch. But this man was not my kin. I have lost others who were kin and did not cry as much. But they were old and visibly ill. But they died of natural causes. I don't know...

A light has truly gone out of the world.

When I hear Robin Williams called "selfish" and "cowardly" for his final act, I am angered. I am angered because he was neither. Robin Williams spoke openly about his mental illness and his addictions. He discussed his struggles with anyone who would listen and he helped others. Most people hide these conditions, pretend they do not exist, try to go on as normal. Robin Williams functioned. He went to work and his work was pretending he was someone he wasn't, but he didn't pretend he wasn't suffering. He never pretended that. He was very brave.

Mental illness will never be conquered until we can recognize it for what it is- a disease- and call it out without shame of social stigma, of being considered "weak" or "cowardly" because owning your disease takes strength and bravery and it is the only way to conquer it. And if it still wins after that, then at least you went down fighting.

Today in the car I heard a story on NPR about a picture going around of Aladdin and the Genie and the caption "Genie, you're free" and they had an interview with a psychologist who was saying how much she hated this image and this idea and how it promoted the idea that suicide is a good answer, a way to freedom and it made her job so much harder.

But here is what she was forgetting.

Mental illness is illness. It is disease. It is chemical as research is beginning to show. It makes you suffer; unspeakable suffering, mostly in silence. Even if the disease doesn't cause you to become isolated you are still isolated because of the nature of the disease - you can't talk about it. You shouldn't. It's a faux pas. If you have Cancer, you can talk about it. If you have Diabetes, you can talk about it. AIDS, okay, maybe not to just anyone, but you can talk about it. We can talk about heart disease. In my family, the hot topic is Parkinson's disease, which conquered my paternal grandfather 3 years ago and is currently working on my maternal grandmother. And when someone dies from complications from these diseases we say "At least he is free from his pain." "Well, he is at peace now." And it is okay to say that.

But when someone dies of complications from mental illness - suicide or maybe even an accidental death related to the illness - we can't say that. It's wrong. It's bad. It "glorifies" suicide and drug use. Even the mental health professionals who want mental illness to be recognized as a real and true disease and not a social defect, consider it a faux pas to acknowledge that now this person who has suffered is now free from his suffering.

People can't understand how someone so loved could feel so alone, so worthless, so done as to want to take his own life and that is the point. It does not matter how well you are loved. It does not matter what you have or what you accomplished. At a certain point you are simply done. It is simply over. There is simply no more to do and the rest of that does not matter. And then you attempt suicide. And you die or you don't. Or there is an intervention and it doesn't happen. But that person who is mentally ill is no more capable of preventing the suicide attempt on his own than a person having a heart attack is capable of saving his own life. Either he has to call out for help before it reaches a tipping point or someone close to him has to recognize the symptoms and intervene.

We don't know if Robin Williams called out for help that night. We don't know if anyone heard him or knew what he was saying. Unfortunately, if there were symptoms they were too subtle or the people around them didn't recognize them. I am sure his family and staff are asking themselves what they missed, how they could have missed it. But we can't blame him or anybody for what this disease did. We can only mourn him and never forget and work harder to understand mental illness so that it can stop killing people.

Suicide is not the only death by mental illness out there. Do not assume that because some deaths are "accidental" that they are not also suicide. Mentally ill people play with their lives all the time. Do you think people don't know that if they drive drunk they might die? Or that if they take a lot of heroine or whatever or engage in other risky behavior that there's a chance it will kill them? Of course they do. When I was in the deepest depths of my own depression and self medication I remember saying "I do it because I don't have the balls to kill myself outright." I am pretty sure that wasn't an original statement. I am no that creative.

There are people in my life that I pray for every day. Some day my phone will ring and I will get the news that mental illness has killed another person so young and so full of promise. Mental illness loves a genius. It is greedy for the greatest among us and it will take many many more before it is conquered.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Enough with the Fat Shaming

As a fat person with a rather healthy lifestyle, I am tired of the assumptions made about fat people. People look at a fat person and assume that that person is fat because he or she lives a lazy, gluttonous lifestyle and therefore has earned her fat and thus has no right to be respected. That he or she should just take it when they are ridiculed for dressing comfortably at the beach, or going to the beach at all. Or openly laughed at when her butt or stomach jiggles when she's jogging down the street. This is okay. Because obviously it is within everyone's reach to be thin. Obviously fat people are just slovenly and so deserve our disrespect. Right?

Making assumptions about fat girls (and boys) is just as wrong as making assumptions about skinny girls (and boys). You know, like that they're anorexic or bulimic. Or that they've had "work done". The fact is, most skinny people I know are very fond of cake and beer and all of those other things that fat people are assumed to indulge in. And most skinny people I know have sedentary lifestyles, or get a good portion of their exercise at the nightclub rather than the gym.

Personally, I believe that I live a pretty healthy lifestyle. I cook from scratch, garden, take regular walks in the woods and downtown (pushing a stroller) and I am a huge fan of Yoga. I also meditate daily. I drink green tea. I do not drink soda, diet or otherwise, except for medicinal purposes (it's great for nausea and that scratchy allergy season throat) and then, I wouldn't be able to finish a can if I wanted to. Gross. I despise most junk food and the texture of white bread, white rice and cake makes me gag.

Why am I fat? I don't know exactly. I've been to the doctor and had some tests, but the migraines and the fibromyalgia kept distracting her and finally everything got too expensive and I had to stop. I know have a wonky thyroid that is sometimes high and sometimes low. You'd think it would balance itself out. But it doesn't. The cure? To KILL my thyroid with RADIATION and take synthetic thyroid hormones orally for the rest of my life. That is something I'm going to have to think long and hard about and discuss with another doctor after my shiny new Obamacare kicks in. (Yea, I signed up since my husband got called back to work. Starts in September. Costs about the same with a lower deductible and more things are covered.)

But my mother is fat, my grandmother, grandfather and great-grandmother, all fat. I do have one skinny uncle. And a skinny sister. (She isn't even fat when she's pregnant!!!) I also have a chubby sister and a couple of chubby uncles. My husband who works 10 hours a day in a cubical farm is skinny. He usually takes leftovers from home for lunch, but he eats out or orders in with his coworkers very often. He also spends most of his weekends at the bar, eating bar food and drinking beer. (He's a professional musician.) Yet he weighs 50 pounds less than I do. His parents and siblings are also skinny.

Judging from these completely unscientific observations, diet and activity don't have shit to do with weight. (<- That's sarcasm, by the way. I know it's hard to tell in print.)

When Dear Abby tells a woman who asks her how to deal with her mom's fat shaming to stop being so comfortable in her own fat and lose it, I'm a little pissed at Dear Abbey. How does Dear Abby know why this girl is fat or at what stage of fat she's in? Is she on her way up, is she on her way down? Has she struggled with it for years before finally being able to accept that this is just the way her body falls? She obviously enjoys swimming so she's more physically active than the majority of America. I'm sorry, some people are just naturally bigger than others. Some have bigger boobs ( Boobs are made of fat, you know), some have bigger hips, some have bigger thighs. Me, I have a big belly.

Those healthy weight charts the doctors have in their offices also make no sense. They don't take into account how much muscle someone has and I'm convinced some people have heavier bones than others too. Once upon a time got really sick for awhile and my weight dropped to 130 pounds. I was well within my "ideal" weight and my doctor would have probably been thrilled had I been able to see her (I was uninsured and lacking an advocate at the time). But I looked like hell. Everyone commented on it. People thought I was on drugs. You could count my ribs at a distance and my shoulder bones looked really weird. I looked like a walking corpse. But I was well within my healthy weight zone. I think my "ideal" weight is probably closer to 150-160, but my doctor would call that obese. (it's still about 30 pounds out for me though)

I am going to end this ramble now because it's late and I should be asleep and I am having trouble organizing my thoughts at this point. I leave you with a picture of a fat girl pole dancing. I don't know if you've ever tried pole dancing, but that is something that needs some serious core strength and muscle control. This woman works out and she works hard and she is my hero of the day.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Hearth Day Resolution - Learning to Fly

Last year's Hearth Day Resolution was something of a wash. It was "be prepared" and I was not. I was not prepared for my husband to lose his job three months after buying the house we moved to so that he could be near his job. Seriously. You'd think someone could have put a bug in his ear. And so instead of preparing, we spent most of the year in emergency mode and living hand to mouth. I did okay stocking up on foodstuffs and keeping the batteries in the flashlights charged but as for the rest, no. We do not have the emergency stuff in place we'd hoped for. I would like to revisit this resolution in the future, but right now I am tired of it and ready for a new, more immediate resolution that won't cost me any money. Something I can do, even in emergency mode.

I don't know if any of you have ever heard of It's a homemaker's community aimed at teaching people how to be homemakers while retaining their sanity and dignity. The Flylady has a program of creating new habits to help homemakers get their act together without getting overwhelmed and she makes it kind of fun. So, my Hearth Day resolution for 2014 will be to follow her program and finally get my house organized.

Next year, I will revisit the be prepared resolution. Once I've gotten organized.

My monthly check-ins will be particularly challenging because I will be working on someone else's program. I need to be careful not to cross the plagiarism line while I do so. So... yea, I'm not sure how that's going to go but I will do my best. My goal is not to take her program, but to follow it and make it work for me and encourage you all to follow along if you can benefit from it.

That being said, Happy Hearth Day! I would love to hear about your resolutions too!