Friday, March 30, 2012

Yeshua, Our Passover Lamb

      This is a very good explanation of the meaning of Passover and how it relates to us as Christians.  Passover this year begins in the evening of Friday, April 6, and ends in the evening of SaturdayApril 14.  Easter is celebrated on April 8th.

          Below is interesting info on how the date for Easter is determined.   
(See: for more info.)
        According to the Bible, Jesus’ death and resurrection occurred around the time of the Jewish Passover, which starts on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan.  This varies by year since the Jewish year is a lunar year and thus differs from the Gregorian calendar.  This soon led to Christians celebrating Easter on different dates.  
       In 325CE the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.  From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox.  Easter is delayed by 1 week if the full moon is on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

She's back!

    Last year I wrote about a dove who built a nest on the brick ledge outside our bathroom window.  Well, she has done it again.  I'm afraid she didn't learn from last year's experience when she abandoned her nest because she was so startled every time we came into the bathroom. There is a guest bedroom above the bathroom which also has a brick ledge and wouldn't have had anyone bothering her, but for some reason she prefers this window.  I think it has something to do with the climbing hydrangea growing around the window.
       I only hope she will be brave with all the activity in the bathroom and stay long enough to hatch the eggs and care for the young.  What a wonderful "bird's eye view" the location affords us if she continues.

    Sorry about the glare on the window which makes it a little more difficult to see the nesting dove.   I am amazed she allows me to photograph her so close--especially since I have to pull the mini-blind away to get a good shot.  In the bottom photo you can see she has 2 eggs.

Here is some interesting info I found--and did not know--about the nesting process:
      "Both the female and male dove incubate the eggs and feed the nestlings. The female typically sits on the nest for long periods during the day and the male picks up the incubation duties at night. The switch between the two may be a quick one, giving the appearance that the same bird never leaves the nest. Male doves have iridescent feathers on their necks, so by looking carefully you might actually see that both sexes are involved with incubation.
        Mourning doves begin nesting by early March and may continue through September, sometimes raising as many as 4 to 5 different broods of young in a year. Adult doves incubate their clutch, usually 2 eggs but sometimes 1 or 3, for about 14 days before they hatch. Then, the newly hatched nestlings take about 14 days to fledge (leave the nest). Adult doves feed their young a milky substance, called "crop milk", sloughed from the lining of their crops. The crop is the first part of the digestive system, after the lining of the mouth." 

    I'm going to have to see if I can tell when they change nesting duties.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Excerpt from "Praying Down Fire and Rain" by Jim Wies

      This is an excerpt from an excellent article on our need (and privilege) to partner with God to see things happen in our lives and the world.  The list of prayer points for this election year included at the end of the article is also very helpful so I am posting it on the "Prayer Requests" page, too,  for easy reference.

     "...One of the profound mysteries of prayer is that God has limited His intervention into human affairs to a very amazing trigger –He waits for us to invite Him to do so.
Here we see Elijah [1 Kings 18:42-45] in what could only be described as labor and travail, or certainly, at least, fervent prayer, petitioning God to send the rain that He had already promised back in verse 1. One of the important lessons for us today is that when God purposes a thing, His method is to do it in co-laborship with us, His people, and that an important part in the co-laborship is the labor of prayer.
       The Lord recently spoke to me about an important key to Kingdom productivity. The key is in discovering that there are things God will not do without you, and you cannot do without Him. No better place is that demonstrated than in the arena of prayer.
       One of the great debates within the ranks of Christianity is the reconciliation of two seemingly contradictory principles of "the sovereignty of God" and "human responsibility." We certainly know God is ABLE to break in to our circumstances and come to our rescue as stated in Hebrews 7:25"Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." We also see from this that Jesus, after He rose from the dead, is sitting at the right hand of the Father, making continuous intercession for us.
        So, some might ask, "Why doesn't an all-powerful God just move on behalf of the problems of mankind? And certainly, if Jesus is interceding for us, why then do we even need to pray? Why do we need to do anything? On the other hand, do we have any responsibility to change things on earth?"
         The fact is that it is in prayer that we see the intersection of these two principles. In prayer, an almighty God depends on our human initiative to "loose" His will to be done. Thus He tells us to pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done." It is in prayer that we cooperate with His will, to release His power. That is what men like John Wesley discovered, who made the profound statement, "God will do nothing but in answer to prayer." That is why we are charged in God's Word: "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17); "In everything by prayer" (Philippians 4:6); "continuing instant in prayer" (Colossians 4:2); to "pray everywhere" (1 Timothy 2:8); "praying always" (Colossians 1:3).
         Prayer will accomplish what all manner of human striving could not. Prayer honors God. It acknowledges our dependence upon God and exhibits a vigorous faith in Him. Prayer acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence and secures His aid. Elijah's fervent prayer brought down fire and rain. Let us continue to be a people devoted to prayer, that we might be instrumental in seeing God's Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Prayer Directives For the Body of Christ:
Special Seven-Point Election Season Focus (USA)
(Although the USA contains only 6% of the world's population, we appeal to Christians everywhere to pray for our elections. The reality is that the entire world is affected one way or another by our leadership in the world.)
      But when the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them...Judges 3:9
If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

1. National: Pray that God's plans and purposes for our nation will be established during this election season. Pray that we will be a nation which follows God and is a blessing to the nations of the earth. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD (Psalm 33:12). Pray that the righteous leaders, the ones of God's choosing, will be elected in every congressional race, every senate race, and to the office of the presidency. "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).

2. State and local: Pray that righteous leaders will be elected to every office at the state and local level. "When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan" (Proverbs 29:2).

3. Media: Grant a spirit of truthfulness in the elections, particularly on the part of all media. Grant a spirit of fairness and honesty in the reports created by all members of the media, and give discernment and wisdom to citizens as they seek information from the media. "Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight"(Proverbs 12:22).

4. Voters: Pray that each citizen will be convicted to vote for the leaders who stand for righteousness, integrity and morality. Pray that God's Spirit will overshadow each one as they make their decisions. Guide all those who will vote in this year's elections with a sense of discernment and sound judgment, and let that discernment in turn bring discerning leaders into office.
"And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear." —Isaiah 11:2-3

5. Election officials: Pray that every official involved in the election process will serve with honesty and integrity of heart."The Lord abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight" (Proverbs 11:1).

6. Those praying: Pray that God will energize and sustain His people to call out to Him day and night in extraordinary prayer during this season. "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication..." (Zechariah 12:10).

7. The Church: Pray that the Church will be fully awakened, engaged and empowered during this critical season, and understand the urgency and importance of this election and its implications for the advancement of God's purposes in our nation and around the world. Pray also that God will awaken His people to a commitment to justice, to the sanctity of marriage and the family, to the dignity of each individual human life, and to the truth that human rights begin when human lives begin, and not one moment later. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).

From "Praying Down Fire and Rain" by Jim Wies, posted on Elijah List, 3-26-12

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our First Morels This Year

       We picked these 25 morels yesterday and ate them for lunch.  Even though 25 sounds like a lot of mushrooms, most of them were about the size of the end of my little finger so there were only enough to cause us to want many more.  :o)
       I looked at my blog post last year on the first mushrooms.  We found them April 16.  See post here.  It is amazing how much earlier our season is this year!  Usually we find the big yellow ones near the end of April, so my sister, who lives in Arizona and loves to hunt mushrooms more than anyone I know, had planned her vacation to be here on April 22.  She wasn't able to come last April so she had been planning for months to be here at the right time this year.  She is now trying to re-arrange her schedule to come on April 8.   I'm not sure that will even be soon enough though.  This warm sunny weather is causing everything to bloom and mature early.
      As I walk through the woods looking for mushrooms I seem to be even more attracted to the wildflowers.  There are so many in bloom right now.  I love these beautiful white flowers of the bloodroot, don't you?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Very True--and Convicting!

Becoming a Fragrance of Christ to God
Francis Frangipane
Jesus warned about our days, saying, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold" (Matt. 24:10). The Lord's warning was not just about conditions in the world; He is speaking to His disciples. He warned about conditions in the church.

Today, the church is overstocked with Christians whose love has grown cold. As a result, rancor fills our conversations. We have become a sub-culture that is mad that the world has not become Christian, while we are tolerant that we are not Christlike.

When you discuss things that are wrong, does rancor come forth or prayer? The word rancor came from Latin rancere, which meant, "to stink." (See rancid). This is exactly what we exude heavenward when all we do is find fault and criticize. The smell of our rancor ascends into the awareness of God. These things ought not to be.

On the other hand, intercessory prayer is a sweet aroma to God. Again, when we pass through trials and determine to emerge more like Jesus, our very lives become "a fragrance of Christ to God" (2 Cor. 2:15). Amazing! in spite of our flaws and weaknesses, while we are living in this harsh world, we can actually become like Christ. Indeed, may this be the passion of all who trust God's Son: to become a fragrance of Christ to God.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Digging the pond/Building the dam

       We are having a new pond dug in one of our pastures.  A few years ago Country Guy turned our horses out in this pasture and one of them cut his leg badly.  We assumed there was old metal buried in the ravine that runs through the pasture so have been hesitant to use the pasture for fear of it happening again.  The best solution seemed to be to have the ravine dug out, dammed up, and turned into a pond.
         This is what the process looked like last week as I drove over to take pictures.  (I wish I had thought to take pictures before the digging was begun.)

Yesterday they were putting the finishing touches on the dam.
Today we are ready for rain.  I wonder how long it will take to fill up?
     I can see having large picnics and cookouts here since there is lots of parking around the machine shed.   It has electricity and water and could be emptied of machinery to provide shelter in case of rain so I'm hoping the pond will be full this summer so I can plan the first celebration.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For My Own Information

        I have identified the wildflower in my earlier post today.  It is called Spring Beauty (Claytomia virginica).  Our lawn and much of the surrounding woods is covered with this beautiful little plant!

What a glorious morning!

      I have been trying to finish raking the leaves from my flower beds this morning because a storm is forecast to arrive this afternoon.  I wanted to get the leaves burned before they get wet and soggy.  It is such a big job which I have been working on all week!   I think I have burned almost 25 Mule loads of leaves--just from the flower beds!  And I didn't even pick those up on the north side but instead raked them over the cliff and back into the woods.  Otherwise I would have had several more loads to burn.  Many years ago I discovered that it is easier and quicker to pick the leaves up if I rake them onto a 6'x8' tarp.  This helps to be able to pick up lots more at one time.  The Mule will hold 3 tarps full of leaves so that gives you a pretty good idea of how many leaves blow into my gardens during the winter.  UGH!      
      This is probably my least favorite job connected with living in the woods but there are some major benefits, too, such as being outdoors on this beautiful morning!  The redbuds are in full bloom.  I just had to share some pictures with you.  Every direction I look from our house I see redbuds blooming.  The woods' floor is also in bloom with a carpet of wildflowers as is evident in the next to the last picture.  I included the last picture so you could see a close up of the tiny flowers.  Anyone know the name of this plant?  I must look it up one of these days.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If I Were the Devil: Paul Harvey (Warning for a Nation)

      A friend sent this to me yesterday.  I am impressed that Paul Harvey recognized this in 1965--47 years ago!  It is exactly what has happened.  I see only one solution--to repent and return to the Lord whose intention in founding this great country was for it to be a light and hope for the world.  Instead it has  become an example of Sodom and Gomorrah.  We know what happened to them!  (For a full report, see Genesis 18 & 19.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mike McGroarty's Advice on Reducing Frost Damage

     I sometimes look at Mike McGroarty's website:  It is somewhat of an infomercial, but he also gives good tips and advice.  He had an interesting article on how to protect plants that have leafed out too early from late frosts and freezes which I am afraid I may need to do this year because of our unseasonably hot weather.  This is something I didn't know:

"When plants get covered with a coating of frost you can actually take a garden hose and rinse the frost off the plants and this actually helps.  Often times with frost the damage occurs when the sun comes up and hits the frost covered leaves or blooms.  The frost itself doesn’t do the actual damage.  It’s the sun shining through the frost that burns the plants.   But you have to start this rinsing process before the sun comes up.  You have to do it before the sun comes up."
     Click here to read the whole article.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another of Francis Frangipane's Wise Words

        "Our success in life is determined by one primary objective: how functionally transformed into Christ's likeness have we become? This reality - man created in the image of Christ - is the core purpose of our existence (Gen. 1; Rom. 8:29; etc). In my opinion, the Lord does not need to examine every individual thing we have ever done, good or evil. All things are already "open and laid bare" before Him (Heb. 4:13). What He will probe is the cumulative effect of our life's choices; He will measure how Christlike we have become.
        If He sees that we were forgiving even when wounded; if He sees in us a heart that holds fast its faith even in times of adversity; if He finds us to be truly repentant and genuinely humble, even when we could boast; and if He sees we are committed to a life of love, we will have fulfilled the purpose of God. We will receive a great reward.
        If, however, the Lord sees in us a soul easily offended or that we blame others for our joyless, angry attitude; if He scans our inner man and finds we are self-righteous and judgmental; or if our conscience alternately either accuses or defends ourselves, then we will render an account for our life at the judgement seat of Christ (Rom. 1:29, 2:5; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 9:27).
       Thus, it is of the utmost importance that we settle the eternal goal for our lives. Are we seizing life's opportunities to appropriate Christ or are we mostly coasting? Let us say with vision and assurance, I am preparing myself for God!"
                 Excerpt from Francis Frangipane's email newsletter entitled "A Life Prepared For God"

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Great Idea!

     A few months ago I saw this great idea I wanted to pass on to you in case you didn't already know. It is so simple and obvious that once you hear it you will say, "Why didn't I think of that?"
     During a power outage, bring in a solar garden light for each room you will be using.  They are bright enough to illume the room so you can see to walk and therefore eliminate the need for flashlights and batteries.  Return the lights to the garden to re-charge for the next outage.
    ( I have heard solar lights need their batteries changed about once a year so it would be a good idea to keep a few extra batteries on hand for extended use of the lights.)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Daffodil Pictures

Here are the photos I promised but they really don't do the beauty of the daffodils justice.  The first two pictures are of the patch in the field and woods where I have dug them for transplant.  The rest are areas of our yard and lane where I have transplanted them.  I planted about 25 more bunches today.

Amazing weather for March!

    We are having amazing weather for March!  Yesterday was 78 degrees!  The temp has been in the 70's for several days and is forecast to continue.
     I worked outside most of the day yesterday raking leaves from the front flower beds. (I still have the side beds and the back to do.  UGH!)  I can't believe how many Mule loads I carried to the burn pile!  I was so tired--and sore and stiff after all that work that I could hardly wait to get to bed last night!
     Today I'm planning to pick up sticks and then transplant a few more daffodils from the patch we found in a field on our property.  Every year I transplant a few more so that I already have a significant number growing on the sides of the lane and in the back yard, but I figure you can't have too many.  Since they are free and growing where no one can enjoy them why not continue adding them to my gardens every year.  Those I have transplanted over the years are in full bloom right now and looking beautiful.
    Maybe I'll add a few pictures later today once I get outside to get some photographs, so check back later if you're like me and like to have visuals.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 Indiana Flower and Patio Show

      I can't believe a year has passed since I wrote about our trip to the Indiana Flower and Patio Show in Indianapolis, but it has and we went again this year.  It was beautiful as always.  I highly recommend a day spent here if you live anywhere near Indianapolis.  We live over 100 miles from the show but it is well worth the trip to see it.
      I believe there were 40 plus garden displays plus hundreds of booths selling everything from paving, to bulbs, to the World's Best Glue--which I bought last year--it lasts up to 5 years in the refrigerator and really is the best I've found.  Of course, I always treat myself to a few chocolate covered peanuts while I'm there, and bring home a bag of kettle corn for Country Guy.
      Here are a few pictures from this year's show:

    What a fun day and a great motivator to start on spring gardens when returning home!  I'm heading out to clean up last year's leaves, etc. as soon as I post this.  Want to help?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kutless will headline Elevate 2012

     This is Kutless' new single, "Carry Me To The Cross" from their new album, "Believer" which was just released on 2-28-12.  The album immediately went to # 1 on Billboard Magazine's Christian Album Chart.
     Kutless will headline Elevate 2012 on July 7 at the Martinsville (IL) Fairgrounds.  You won't want to miss this great event!  For King & Country and Josh Wilson will also be performing.  What a line-up!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Excerpt from Francis Frangipane's book, The Power of One Christlike Life

      In this day and age when news is so discouraging, I found much to be encouraged about in this excerpt from Francis Francipane's book, The Power of One Christlike Life.  We are often looking to others to change the world when we, who desire to be disciples of Jesus, are the ones who have been given the ability to change the world through persistent prayer.  I was particularly convicted by Francis' statement, "Much of how God relates to the future of a nation is based upon how the people in that society pray. The Spirit has made one truth plain to me: The future of a society does not belong to sinners; it belongs to those who pray."   
Moses became a mature intercessor. He stayed close to God, prevailing in prayer. Even though the Lord said He would make of Moses a great nation, Moses ignored the prospect. He knew all people would have times of sin and failure. Moses had come too far to start over. This journey was about a covenant that was made with Israel's forefathers.
Remember, the assignment is to bring an imperfect people with a promise from God into fulfillment. The intercessor's role is to pray from the beginning of that journey, through the valleys of sin and setbacks, and continue praying until the promise from God is obtained.
You may be a pastor of a church or an intercessor or a parent. Regardless, whoever you are praying for, you must have this attitude: "Lord, I am not letting You alone concerning my loved one."
When I pray, I never pray for divine wrath to fall; I always pray for mercy and grace. I agree with God that wrath is justified because of man's sin, yet I plead with God for mercy and correction.
The Result
The result of Moses' intercession is utterly amazing: "So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people" (Exod. 32:14).
May this be a revelation to us all! Moses' prayer changed God's mind!
Much of how God relates to the future of a nation is based upon how the people in that society pray. The Spirit has made one truth plain to me: The future of a society does not belong to sinners; it belongs to those who pray. Thus, Jesus tells His disciples that whatever two of them agree on "about anything that they may ask" (Matt. 18:19), it will be granted by the heavenly Father. Two or three servants of God who refuse to abandon their faithfulness in prayer can release the mercy of God into their world.
For Moses and the Israelites, the outcome was profound: "the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people" (Exod. 32:14).
Think of it: prayer changed the mind of God.
Lord, thank You for always remaining open to our cries. Help me to persevere, to give You no rest, until You fulfill Your highest purposes with my family, church and nation. Thank You that one voice is not too feeble that You cannot hear it.  Master, I stand in the gap for those I love. Reveal Your mercy to them.
       It seems it's time to believe that God's word "to pray without ceasing" is a command and not just something to talk about.  Won't you commit with me to pray persistently for righteous leaders to come forth and for righteousness to rule in this nation?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This girl is amazing!

This is not Nadia Comaneci's granddaughter as it is labeled.  Her name is Boyanka Angelova, a Bulgarian gymnast.  But isn't she amazing?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Another Cookbook Correction

FYI:  For those of you who have my cookbook, I discovered as I was making the Ice Cream Pie recipe on p. 83 this morning that the milk used in the topping should be 2/3 cup instead of 1/3 so you might want to correct it in your book.

The Way I Clean My House--Monthly and Twice A Year

     Today is the last post I'm planning to do on how I clean my house.  I'm sure you're all bored with this series, but it has been an interesting exercise for me.  Until Jessica asked, I had never thought much about how I do things so it has taken me quite awhile to sort it all out.
     As I think about the tasks I only do occasionally I must say that I allow myself quite a bit of leeway.  I try to do them monthly and twice a year, but those are goals I'm shooting for.  If I only get them done every other month--or once a year, my house is still cleaner than it would have been if I had not set some goals.  So here are the tasks I can think of that I only do periodically:

Monthly:  (I combine these with my weekly tasks once a month.)
  1. Wipe off ceiling fan blades
  2. Vacuum and/or wipe down woodwork, including doors and picture frames
  3. Thoroughly clean refrigerator shelves and throw out old food
  4. Sweep thoroughly and/or clean the garage.  I sweep around the back door weekly, but I don't get around to cleaning the whole garage except every few weeks.  (If only I could train Country Guy to do the garage regularly--he did sweep it last night for me since we are having guests and I just didn't have time.)
Twice a year:
  1. Move furniture to vacuum under and/or re-arrange furniture in room.
  2. Wash all windows and wipe down window screens, inside and out.
  3. Wash curtains and/or mini-blinds
  4. Dust/vacuum ceilings for cobwebs
  5. Remove and wash glass in light fixtures
  6. Clean closets
  7. Clean out kitchen cabinets and drawers
      As I write these out it seems like much to do--I guess it is--but it really is not as difficult or overwhelming as it may seem at first reading.  Try it for a few weeks and see if you don't find yourself with a much cleaner house and some extra time on your hands each day to enjoy doing something you like.
            I hope this exercise in thinking how I clean house has been beneficial to someone besides me.  If any of you have other tips to share please post them under comments.  I know we would all be glad for some new ideas to add variety and make the job a little easier.

Don't forget:

*My Number One Rule:  I find a place for everything and return it to that place as soon as I’m finished with it.  This takes a little discipline but saves so much time in the long run and keeps the house looking so much neater & easier to clean that you’ll be glad you incorporated this rule.

      *If you’re interested, I did a blog post several months ago on "My Favorite Cleaning Products".  You can find it here.

Pin It

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Way I Clean My House--Weekly

     This post is a continuation of yesterday's post.  Because I feel "My Number One Rule" is the key to a clean house, I am going to post it again.

*My Number One Rule:  I find a place for everything and return it to that place as soon as I’m finished with it.  This takes a little discipline but saves so much time in the long run and keeps the house looking so much neater & easier to clean that you’ll be glad you incorporated this rule.

      In addition to the daily tasks I mentioned yesterday, I also try to do the following things once a week:

  1. Change bed linens (Wash immediately to put back on the bed, or store in linen closet.)
  2. Clean the bathrooms thoroughly including:
    1. The shower and/or bathtub to prevent mildew 
    2. The stool (I use Lime-away to remove hard water buildup)
    3. Wipe down the sink and counter tops.
    4. Polish the mirrors and plumbing hardware
    5. Mop the floor
  3. Dust all furniture and vacuum the entire house, including porches.
  4. Wipe down cabinets and mop kitchen floor and other bare floors including laundry room and halls  (depending on use, I may do this every couple of weeks instead of every week.
  5. Water houseplants  (Overwatering is one of the biggest problems for new plant owners so it helps to have a specific day and not to water until that day unless the plant is looking thirsty.)
  6. Do laundry.  (Because I have sorting bins in my laundry room, I throw the laundry in the washer whenever one, or all, are full so I actually do at least one load of laundry almost daily. 
  7. Do the ironing  (Ironing becomes more fun if I have a good movie to watch while I iron.)Think about menus for the week and plan grocery shopping so I will only need to go once a week.  I keep staples in my pantry. e.g.. pasta, rice, sugar, flour, canned soup, beans, tomato products, spaghetti sauce, etc. to combine for quick meals.

       I assign a different day of the week to complete each task if I have limited time, or I set aside one day and combine several tasks. 

    Here is an example of how I incorporate them into my cleaning each week:
     1. Monday: Daily tasks (see yesterday's post), plus I change the bed linens and do all the laundry
     2. Tuesday: Daily tasks, plus I iron and water house plants
     3. Wednesday (or Thursday) is shopping/errand day where I restock my pantry and buy items I need to prepare meals for the week.
     4. Thursday: Daily tasks, plus I clean the bathrooms, wipe down kitchen cabinets, if needed,(I sometimes do this every other week) and mop all floors.
     5. Friday: Daily tasks, plus I dust and vacuum and sometimes prepare food for the weekend.
     6. Saturday: minimal cleaning--at least make the beds
     7. Sunday: minimal cleaning--at least make the beds

*If you decide to try this plan I would suggest that you mark your calendar just as if you have an appointment to do each, and mark it off when completed until this becomes a habit.

       Tomorrow I will list the things I do monthly, or a couple of times a year to keep everything looking good.

Pin It

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Way I Clean My House--Daily

       Since our daughter has just moved into a much larger house than the duplex they have lived in for several years she asked me how I stay organized and keep our house clean.  I told her I would try to think through the process and give her a “plan of action”.  We decided it might be a good blog post because it could possibly help others like her who would like to be better organized.  Since the article is rather long it seems best to break it into 3 posts so check back for the complete list of My Rules for Organizing Housekeeping.
*My Number One Rule:  I find a place for everything and return it to that place as soon as I’m finished with it.  This takes a little discipline but saves so much time in the long run and keeps the house looking so much neater & easier to clean that you’ll be glad you incorporated this rule.

The following list is what I do daily to keep the house looking nice.  

Every Day:
  1. I make the bed as soon as I get up.  This only takes about a minute but reflects much on housekeeping to visitors. 
  2. Wipe down the shower and/or bathtub after use.
  3. Deal with the mail--sorting and throwing away anything unimportant and organizing it into Bills, Coupons, Magazines, etc. (I have a specific place for each of these.)  
  4. Wash the dishes, sink, and counter tops after every meal.
  5. Wipe off the stove top and any fingerprints from appliance fronts.
  6. Vacuum (or sweep up with a broom) any apparent dirt in the kitchen and the rest of house.
  7. If I do laundry daily I fold it as soon as it is removed from the dryer and put it away immediately, (or at least move it to the bed so I will have to deal with it before going to bed. I never allow myself to move it to the floor or dresser from the bed, but instead put it where it belongs.)
  8. Pick up and put away anything that is out of place such as laundry, clothes, toys, cleaning products, tools, groceries.                                                                                
 (FYI: If you find you are going to have unexpected guests and don’t have much time to prepare, vacuum the floors because that’s the first thing a guest usually sees.  When they see a freshly vacuumed carpet they are more inclined to think everything else is clean too, and not look too closely.)

Tomorrow's post will list things that I only do weekly to keep my house clean.

Pin It

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I've Been Missing You

       Sorry I have been unable to post on my blog this week.  Country Guy & I have been in Nebraska helping our daughter’s family move into their new house.  I don’t get cell reception there, and they were not able to get their house phone or Internet hooked up before we left this morning to return to Illinois so I have been very much unconnected from the world.  It is amazing how dependent I am on instant communication.  I felt like I was on a deserted island with no way to get a message to you!  :o)
       It was a fun week, though.  We spent the week carrying boxes, putting things away, re-organizing, re-arranging, ironing, assembling shelving, vacuuming & cleaning, caulking, putting up curtains, playing with the grandchildren, shopping for extras for the house, returning some of the extras, planting daffodils which we brought from our daffodil patch in the woods, repotting houseplants, and anything else we could think of to be useful.  Because of the combined efforts of our daughter and son-in-law, his parents and us, the place was beginning to look as if it had been lived in for a long time when we left this morning.  Even though the process has taken several months, and hundreds of decisions to bring the house to completion, it has been well worth it!  The house is warm and welcoming, and the setting is beautiful!
       We are so happy for their family and so grateful they allowed us to be part of this happy time in their lives.  What a privilege and blessing!
       Hopefully, I will now get back to blogging regularly.  Thanks to all of you for “hanging in there” and not giving up on me.  And thanks to those of you who leave comments and email me.  Please continue to do so. You are great encouragers!