Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter Eggs~I Learned Something Today!

I enjoy that a lot of our religious celebrations also are accompanied by cultural traditions that are fun for families and people everywhere.  Which one among us would not like to get a chocolate bunny for Easter no matter our age?  

I like occasions that unify us as a people, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, etc. There are far too many things that divide us as Americans. The speaker in church stated today that he had looked up Easter eggs and then he said something I cannot ever remember hearing before.  I may be showing my ignorance here!  Or have I known it before and dismissed or forgotten it?  Who can know for sure with the hard drive of my brain getting more full day by day?  

Anyway his talk prompted me to look Easter Eggs up on Wikipedia.  Sure enough his words were a direct quote from the Wiki.  

"Easter Eggs, also called Pascal Eggs, are decorated eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.  As such, Easter Eggs are common during the season of Easter.  The oldest tradition is to use dyed and painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionary such as jelly beans. Eggs were a traditional symbol of fertility, and rebirth in Christianity. 

For the celebration of Eastertide, Easter Eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus.  The Easter Egg, for Christians, is a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave, and that those who will also experience eternal life."

The part I didn't know was the underlined part of the above paragraph.  Easter Eggs symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus.  I never could really grasp that from the way Easter eggs were done in our childhood.  

But I think it is perfect for the way modern customs have provided us with the plastic eggs that open.  We normally put little treats inside, right?  There has got to be a clever little way to have kids find some eggs that are empty and that is the surprise inside. (So they don't burst into tears explain first perhaps? Like something far better awaits when you find an empty one?) Then following up with something about the resurrection for the little ones and a really special treat.  For what it is worth, it just made me think of a way we could incorporate a teaching moment along with an Easter Egg Hunt for our little ones.  

In keeping with my new resolve to post more often and reprise older posts here is one from 2011.

Easter Eggs

Wouldn't it be fun if you could save eggs your kids decorate when they are little that aren't hand blown and so fragile? Wouldn't it be neater if your little kids could even hold and decorate a blown out egg without cracking it?

Once while decorating eggs with my friend, Lee, I discovered that you can. Did you know that you can hard boil and decorate eggs that will last forever a long long time? If they don't have any cracks they will be just fine for years to come. I always thought they would start smelling rotten, but nope. All that happens is that the egg inside dehydrates and shrinks and they are like a little rattle over time. Think plastic egg with a small chocolate egg in it. The first few years I would leave them out but hidden for a few months to make sure they were not rotten before storing them away. I have never had a problem and neither has Lee and she still has some that her mother painted for her when she was a little girl. Try it, it is eggciting.

The eggs that you see with the patterns on them are done with hard boiled eggs and spring tissue papers. You just tear some pieces dip them in liquid starch and press them on the egg and dry. Our daughter, Jen, taught me this little trick ten years ago when we were in Scotland she made them for Piper's first Easter. I fell in love with them but they were the blown eggs so would not transport easily. Finally I just made some of my own. Again, my kinda thing. They really are pretty cute for the effort that goes into them.

Well, I hate to put all my eggs in one basket but this is probably the only crafting post you will ever see from this chick!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Easter Week is Coming

This is just beautiful and says it all. Remember Him!

Kick-Start Heightened Personal Productivity!

When I looked at my total number of posts this year I felt terrible.  FIVE.  That is not acceptable. I have decided to revisit the over two thousand posts I have done since December 2007 and republish some of the more timeless ones, or the reminiscent ones, or the funny ones.  I also thought that it might be fun to pick amongst the hundreds of Pinterest photos I have collected and share thoughts about one every once in awhile.  This post comes from another blogger and it is one that helps me a lot even still.  Attribution and link below for The Happiness Project's author.

The only place clutter works~in the garden!

Remember when we thought that electronics would make our world of paper, a thing of the past? Wow, not so. When I got home last night I found two and a half weeks worth of mail, magazines, junk mail, bills, cards and letters, adverts, you name it. Jim was so sweet to stack it all up nicely for me and for that I am grateful...but Holy Cow! So much paper! I am a real stickler about keeping my desk fairly well cleaned off as I find it gets overwhelming if you don't. I also go into many homes where the paper takes up more room than the people. For me it is almost like brushing your teeth~you take care of it everyday for a few minutes or pay the price down the line.

I have so much to do to get ready for the staging on Friday but I really just couldn't unclutter my mind to think straight until I took care of this paper mess. So I have slowly been chipping away at it while unpacking, etc. Some time ago I ran across a fun blog and today there is a great article in there about this very topic and increasing our personal productivity. 

This article is by Gretchen Rubin. You can find her here~
Add her to your Reader, she has some great ideas.


Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
Better Personal Productivity

"I confess: I can’t touch each piece of paper just one time. I can’t return every email within 24 hours. I can’t maintain a clear desk at all times. I can’t go paperless. Nevertheless, I’ve found some realistic strategies for getting things done that have helped me a lot.
One thing I know about myself is that an accumulation of tiny tasks, even if they aren’t particularly irksome in themselves, combine to make me feel overwhelmed and drained. If I can keep little chores from piling up, I feel much more capable of tackling bigger, more difficult tasks.
For that reason, many of my most important daily personal productivity rules are very low-tech and simple – they’re aimed to help me accomplish the most basic tasks of my day.
1. Follow the “one-minute rule.” I don’t postpone any task that can be done in less than one minute. I put away my umbrella; I glance at a letter and toss it; I put the newspapers in the recycling bin; I close the cabinet door. Because the tasks are so quick, it isn’t too hard to make myself follow the rule, but it has big results.
2. Observe the “evening tidy-up.” I take ten minutes before bed to do simple tidying. Tidying up at night made our mornings more serene and pleasant, because I’m not running to and fro like a headless chicken; and it also helps me prepare me for sleep, because putting things in order is calming, and doing something physical makes me aware of being tired.
3. Do a daily errand, or a bi-weekly errand afternoon. I keep a list of things I need to do (get a prescription filled, buy a new toner cartridge, return library books), and each day, I do one of them. Doing one errand is manageable, and although it doesn’t sound like much, it adds up. My mother prefers to spend one afternoon every few weeks running errands—perhaps a more efficient strategy in a place like Kansas City, where she needs to do a lot of driving from place to place, in contrast to New York City, where I usually do my errands while I’m walking someplace. And while I’m running those errands, I…
4. Buy necessary supplies and keep them in order. Nothing annoys me more than spending time vainly searching for some obscure yet important office supply: a jumbo binder clip, an index card, a ruler, double-sided tape. I dislike running errands (therefore, tip #2), but having the right equipment, and keeping it organized enough so I can find what I want, makes a big difference to how much I can get accomplished in a day. Also my level of aggravation.

5. Ask yourself, “Why do I need this?” before you keep anything. I have a friend who filed the stubs from her gas bills for years. “Why do you keep those at all?” I asked, when she was complaining about how far behind she was with her personal paperwork. “My father always told me to keep that kind of thing,” she said. That’s not a good enough reason!
6. If there’s something you don’t want to do, prepare all the necessary preliminary steps the night before, and make yourself do it first thing in the morning. For example, I dislike making even the easiest phone calls, so I always steel myself to do those right away. (Check here if you need more tips for making yourself place phone calls you don’t want to make.)

7. Be diligent about “unsubscribing.” I need to be better at this. We all find our way onto email lists and newsletters of all sorts, and I often let weeks or months go by before taking five seconds to unsubscribe. But it’s worth it, to weed out clutter from your in-box.
8. Keep a daily scratch pad. You know those notes you write to yourself—phone numbers, URLs, the “call John Doe” reminders, the quick “don’t forget” notes…all those nagging loose ends that clutter the surface of a desk, and then vanish, get thrown away, or can’t be deciphered when you’re looking for them? Now I keep a scratch pad on my desk, and anytime I have the urge to make a note, I discipline myself to write it there. At the end of the day, I copy anything I need to keep (this is important!), then toss the paper.
9. Remember my Eighth Commandment and “Identify the problem.” This sounds so obvious, but it’s astonishingly helpful. For example, I like to work in coffee shops, and for years, and I mean years, I spent a lot of time running out of battery power and chasing around looking for someplace to plug in my laptop. Then I asked myself: “What’s the problem?” Answer: “I need more battery power.” Light dawned. I could buy an extra battery! I did, and it gave me a huge boost in productivity."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don't Be Afraid...

I thought this was quite cool and decided to write a little something about it.  What is so great about sparkle and why should a lady go for it?  Because she can!   Sparkle is adding a little pizazz to the ordinary.  I love that the fashion industry has been on bling for several years now.  Why?  Because it is fun and fancy and whimsical.  I don't like dreary...not a bit.

Glitter adds light and uplift and excitement to drab.  There comes that time in a woman's life when she is no longer a young girl. Around the 40s it seems to hit.  People often decided to quit trying then.  My thought is if you can buy a cute tee shirt with a little bedazzlement...why not?  Or a ring with some pretty stones or a dangly bracelet...go for it.  Or how about a cute scarf that adds a lot to an outfit and covers up those neck wrinkles a bit or at least distracts the eye.  A big YES!

It will lift your spirit and make you feel fancy.  It doesn't have to be expensive, in fact it shouldn't be. Just something to brighten your countenance and make your eyes sparkle a little more is fun.  Of course sparkly from the inside is essential and beautiful too.  But today I'm just talking about the exterior.  I say why do drab when you don't have to?  Unless of course you like the real toned down approach, in which case then carry on!

As for me and my closet we are going to keep calm and sparkle on.  Why?  Because it makes me happy.  When I am happy I see the world through a different set of glasses.  They are rose-colored perhaps, but that is OK isn't it?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Simple Woman's Day Book~March 23, 2015 NEW!

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Monday, March 23, 2015
Outside my window...we had a little rain last night and it was sorely needed.  Everything looks clean today.  The trees and flowers look fresh and new.  I opened all the windows this morning but now in the late afternoon a chill has set in and I closed the house and am about to cuddle up under a blanket.

I am thankful for...for the fact that I recognize that I need to write whether I feel like it or not.  I am sure you may have noticed that I have been off my blog for 6 weeks and if you are a regular follower you may be long gone by now.  That is how it can be with blogging.  I remember one time this lady wrote to me and said how much reading my blog had become a part of her day, and that each and every day she waited for my post.  Sometimes that was what spurred me on to keep going.  Just knowing that someone appreciated it and enjoying reading it.  I do wonder whatever happened to Dorothy.

From the learning thing I have learned about myself is that I have to be in a certain state of mind to enjoy writing. But the farther I slip away from that state of mind, the more the state of mind I'm in requires that exercise of the pouring out and sorting the things in my head.  They say that introverts have a constant conversation with themselves going on in their heads.  Well, that's me and it is so true.  I am a social person but I require my space also.  During that time of renewal and solitude I ponder.  I sometimes worry.  I somethings retreat from all but a few.  I am sometimes very content and joyful and other times I am reflective and melancholy.  But regardless of that momentary state...I ponder.  The writing simply helps me sort things out and process all that pondering.  It is very cathartic and grounding for me.  It helps bring back the things that are the most important into a place where I can prioritize them and focus on them and above all be grateful for them.  

I am reading...all the time.  I just find no time for reading for pleasure anymore.  I miss that but I feel restless when I try to do it, as I feel an urgency to educate myself on the principles of my passion.  Genealogy and the creation of a family legacy or family history.   It feels like I am in school full time now and it is exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.  I love the teaching and the learning and most of all the option to do what I please.  It is delightful to examine and pursue my interest without constant interruptions.  It is a privilege that most of us wait a life time for~what a blessing.  

I often wonder how different we might all be it we could have done this all along the way in our lives by being able to find appropriate balance in our duties.  Having more time and energy left over for our own specific growth and development along the way would have been good.  

I don't know about you but for me the last thing on my list was adding yet another thing that wanted a piece of me.  I kept my blinders on to other interests to get through the days with a full time job and three children to raise, and hubby and parents with needs as well. Funny but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way at the time either.  In some way is was preparatory to what I enjoy so much now.  It is a bit of a paradox really.

That all seems like another lifetime now somehow.  Now the world is wide open to me and I love that.  I want to learn about lots of things and become who I am supposed to be in the autumn of my life.  I don't have time or interest in the trite things of life, like wasting time and the squabbles or negativity of others.  Life is too short.  And I want to spend all my time socially with family and friends that uplift and inspire me not who drag me down. I am very blessed in that department and I am so grateful for each of you.

From the kitchen...keeping it simple and basic and low cal.  Trying to lose a few pounds before our UK adventure.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...I recognize that although my life seems to be in three separate parts, all very different from the others; the common thread has been my love for my good family and friends.  That love coupled inseparably and undeniably with that is my love for God.  Spirituality and my love for God has always been present in my life has been the glue.  God has been the one ever present constant.  The gifts of our Savior have colored and been my foundation all of my life.  I cannot even imagine my life without it.  Nor would I want to do so.

Someone I am praying for this brother Steve who had surgery this past week.  Awaiting biopsy results that should be here any day now.   Piper who has not been at the top of her game health wise in the last little while and always Hazel and all of our family and friends each as they stand in need.

I am hearing...Not much really except my own thoughts and the train just went by bringing commuters home for the night.  A car or two here and there is passing by and that is it.  Must be time for a little Kate Davis and her jazzy bass.

Quote of the week from James Tanner..."You cannot push a rope." This is reference to the idea of leading a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.  You cannot push someone to do something they do not want to do, etc.  I love this.  I have tried this and I testify that it is true.   You definitely cannot push a rope.  Nope, it ain't happenin' - not ever!

Pinterest photo of the week...

I love this apple green
It's so springy and pretty.

One of my pleasures...I really enjoy putting various clothes and jewelry and accessories together.  I like paying attention to the details of what I am wearing whether I'm going some place special or just hanging out at home.  I find if I take care of all of that in the early morning I feel better about myself and I am ready to conquer the day...come what may.  If I skip it I regret it all day.  I just don't feel on top of my game at all on those days.  I love buying basics and then interchanging them and creating new looks.  I like all that girly stuff a lot.

Pet the afternoon arrives too early and I run out of steam.  After I take a little rest in the late afternoon I get a second wind but it is not for intense work. It is for fun stuff like movies and Pinterest and texting, etc.  Hehe.. So I have to get major things done early.  

Past Remembrance...When Jim and I and Laura were on the train to Edinburgh to pick up Jennifer from her mission and we heard a little British girl about 3 years old singing Baa Baa Black Sheep with the cutest little accent on earth.  I love an English or Scottish accent and no one does it better that the wee ones.  I am hoping that memory will spur me on to the trip I am supposed to be planning ASAP!

If I could change one thing it would be..Mitt in the Oval Office.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...Grantchester.  Love that little Vicar!

I am curious British TV can be consistently better than American TV.

Plans for the rest of the week...Work tomorrow and then trip planning until I get it done.  Women's General Conference on Saturday evening.  I got a new iPhone 6 this week so still trying to get that all set up. Annoying but worth it.

One of my favorite things...having my cell phone available at night when I am wide awake and I don't want to just lie there, or get up because it is cold.  I love just pulling up the covers and snuggling down and reading new email or often old email from special people like you.  Or reading one of my Kindle books on my phone.  It is so much better than when I use to walk around the house aimlessly or folded laundry...before electronics rescued insomniacs.

One thing that made me so happy this past week...that we have been grandparents for 16 years.  Piper turned sixteen on the 18th.  She is learning to drive and I am thrilled that we get to spend Easter together.

The most surprising thing this past week...that I have an ancestor that was in the first emigrating group of LDS passengers out of Wales in the early 1850s. They came to America and made their way to Utah.  I was shocked and thrilled and then a few days later someone asked me to join the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. (Not sure about that!) That was a lot to take in within a few days. That ancestor is buried in Brigham City, Utah and you can bet we will be visiting the graveside of John Davis Rees soon.  Only another convert could appreciate that story as we do.

Here is a photo I'm sharing this week....

Piper and Chloe the day or so before Piper turned 16.  These girls are so amazing. The interesting things about the human heart it is has an infinite capacity to love. When you just think you cannot love more or another single can. The Lord just gifts you with an endless supply of "love terabytes"~more heart space free of charge.  If you don't believe it have some grandkids! Meet a fabulous new friend or do your family history.

Take Care of You For Me!