Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Nailed It!!!!

 Yeah. I know. Nailed it is used for Pinterest fails. But honestly, I am going to reclaim it as a victory chant. 

My 1,000 item declutter, discard, purge is done and done 9 months early.  I haven't been on top of bagging things up since the last big purge for my son's fundraiser garage sale and I had to stop that day without meeting my goal because I'm down to having to become more thoughtful. Yesterday, I decided I was going to finish and finish strong before April 1st dawned. 

So I opened up some cupboards and really looked at a couple of items that have been on my list as the next ones to go. And I asked myself when I was going to use them? How they were enriching my life by hanging out in the closet? Then I wondered out loud how someone else might see those items as a blessing, a joy, a need met, and the decision became easy. Then I looked at my clothes again. I asked each item. Yes. Literally, I asked out loud to some of the more unique and quirky pieces. I forced myself to think of two other items in my closet that could be paired with each item so that I have two potential outfits for each item. Another dozen items couldn't answer that question appropriately so out they went. 

Guess what? I'm not going to quit. I think I need to question all of my belongings. And remember how freeing it is to let something fly away to someone who really needs it. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Cool Pic Link

My Wednesday was a full one, so much so that I don't have anything creative cooking in my brain. However, there's a great link to some pictures taken at the exact perfect moment. Some of them are amazing. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ National Puppy Day Recap.

So. After I walked out to my car Monday morning, ready to leave for work, I found out Monday was National Puppy Day.

How did I find out this information? Was it on the radio? Nope. The radio didn't work. Actually, nothing worked on the car. 


As in totally dead-as-a-doornail dead. I believe the pups somehow sabotaged my attempt to get to work. Not sure how they pulled that off as they lack opposable thumbs and they don't get to wander off leash, but I'm sure they did something to keep me at home. 

Now. I could have accepted my co-worker's offer to leave her stressful early Monday morning portion of her job to come get me so I could do the one x-ray I had scheduled and the large pile of paperwork that will still be there tomorrow and the day after that. Rob was long gone. & and Toad-Boy already enroute to their jobs. Yeah, I spent thirty seconds wrestling with the idea of staying home vs. going to work. In the end I used a sick day for the sick car. That's the ticket. 

I checked my e-mail. Found out it was National Puppy Day. Questioned the girls and got nothing from them. 

I decided I should do something productive with my free day. So after I pulled out all my tax numbers and compiled them into a something the accountant can work with, the pups and I took a nap. Then we played and they helped me eat lunch. Played some more and basically turned a Monday into a National Puppy Day celebration. A good time was had by all. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Confusion and Deals

Weird weather swings continue in Iowa. It hit 90 then dropped into the 30s overnight and has hovered between 30's and 60's the past few days. My plants and the Robins are confused. 
My Christmas Cactus. Blooming again. I think January was so warm, February too cool and March not making up it's mind. 

Do you follow deal websites? I follow Brad's Deals, Wise Bread Deals and Coupon Cravings. On Tuesday the website Designer Living had a coupon code to use on a purchase. Just so happened the highlighted products were dog beds. 20% off the clearance price. And decent clearance to begin with. So I found a couple items to replace the chewed and gutted things we are currently using as beds. After several different distractions I completed my order then saw that even though it took the code the prices hadn't changed. I called after work yesterday. The customer service was great. She fixed the situation and credited me my 20%. And the beds are on their way, too. Nice.
Super cute super donut chew toy/bed. Sigh. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Scraps and Snippets ~ Layered Cheesecake Jars

Layered Cheesecake Jars

1 Package (20 ounce) pulverized Oreos or equivalent Jo-Jo's (you just want the crumbs, but I did leave the middles intact so it was a moister crumb and was easier to do since I didn’t have to crack them open and scrape out the middle.

Sprinkle half the crumbs into the bottoms of 12 ramekins or small juice glasses or jelly jars. (I seriously use glass votive holders.) Set the remainder of the crumbs aside.

1 container of Vegan cream cheese (8 ounces)
1 Can full fat coconut milk (cream only after chilling for several days,  discard or reuse water or use Trader Joe’s which is creamy from the get go and has very little water)
¾ Cup of sugar (powdered or regular)
pinch of salt
splash of vanilla
3 TBSP of add in. 
(These are the Add-ins: Peanut Butter, orange marmalade, raspberry, strawberry or cherry preserves or jam, or crushed candy canes. Or cookie dough, or crushed Oreos,  or 2 TBSP melted chocolate chips and 1 TBSP instant coffee, or ???? what have you always wanted to put into cheesecake covered with Oreo crumbs?)

Mix the cream cheese, whipped cream and sugar together with a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla. When completely mixed, add the add ins and whir away or stir in.

Dollop evenish amounts of the cream over the bottom crumb crusts. Top with the remaining crumbs and chill until serving. Chill at least 2 hours.

Take it to the next level. If you are making peanut butter cheesecake jars  mix together pretzel bits, peanuts and crushed peanut butter cups (a TBSP or 2 each would be plenty) with the Oreo crumbs and top them with the mixture (you could do the bottom crumbs that way, too). If you are using strawberry jam you could dip fresh strawberries in chocolate and set one on top of the crust topping in each cup/jar. If you are using cookie dough add a few little cookie dough balls to the top of the desserts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Mercy Ministries

I've spent the past several months pondering what God is calling me to do to help in this world that needs so, so much help. 

I sometimes cringe when calling myself a Christian because I know what the world's perception is of Christians, especially in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Christians are hypocrites, narrow-slit-eyed judges just waiting to point out sins to the sinners. 

Honestly, many people who label themselves Christian have no clue what that even means. Jesus didn't die for my sins and conquer death and sin itself on my behalf so I could go on living a selfish, broken life. He died and rose again so His followers would become like Him, willing to die, willing to follow Him until we look like Him. Looking like Him includes loving people He created. No matter how much they have rejected Him. He loves them. 

One of my struggles is the immensity of the sea of need. Hurting people are dying for a glimpse of the real Jesus rather than the one so well painted by the hypocrites or posers. What direction do I go, what am I supposed to do, what is my designed role for helping people find their way to Jesus? 

My heart burns to help people really be set free from bondage. There are so many who live in prisons that have been erected by others and sometimes themselves. There is an enemy out there who doesn't care what prison we live in. He just wants to see us in the dank, dark, hopeless cells of death. He has lots of ways to lure us and capture us and so many start when we are children. 

Being a support to my  daughter while she is on the frontline of the battlefield taking hits for her little foster babies is not enough. Even loving those children as my own grandchildren feels like not enough. An author friend is involved in a homeless ministry in the metro area and has asked me to write a couple stories of local people who've spent time on the streets for an upcoming book. Ideally this book will hopefully sell and help support the ministry. I met with Jessica and wrote her story. Even though my part is finished, Jessica's tale is far from complete. And my heart breaks for her knowing that she will be struggling with some of her issues for a long time. But that's not enough, either, voluntarily listening to someone's story and writing it out. 

On Sunday I went to an event to raise money, and eventually bring, Mercy Ministries to our area. I hadn't heard of Mercy Ministries until I saw the promo for the event. This is an organization that is privately funded (no state or federal aid), free for young women who want to escape from a hellish landscape, and a ministry that pledges to be debt free and tithe to other ministries. 

Young women, ages 13-28 are accepted into homes at several locations around the world. They are given love, and Jesus and their lives are changed. Several women told their stories. From eating disorders and self harm, to planned suicides if this didn't work for them, to horrific childhood trauma. 

There are people who are being Christ to those who need Him. And I want to support them, which might be a very large part of my current path. So I'll keep on tuning my ears to God's heart and turning my eyes to those I can see. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Liebster Craw

Seems like a good time to answer a few more of my cousin Emily's Liebster nominating questions. Poor & had the nasty business I had last week yesterday. And I did the kid running and wrangling to give her a little break. My brain feels like I hung out with kids at warp speed.  But I'm glad no one in the family is currently spewing.

Is it just me or is anyone else amused that my autocorrect will not leave Liebster alone?

I just had to redirect it above. Ha. Lobster/Liebster I'm sure it is is basically all the same.

Anyhoo. Here is part TWO of my epic answer-a-thon. Clearly, there will be a part THREE.

1.  Who is your favorite musician and what is your favorite song of theirs?
I honestly don't have a favorite musician. I love some songs for the words, some for the music and I kinda am all over the place. What I don't like so much is scream-o (heavy, heavy intensity along those lines makes me feel homicidal, so note that if you are a fan and want to ever go on a long road trip with me...just sayin) and I also hate super twangy country. I also get angry when a song is designed/engineered just to be sentimental, not honestly sentimental. Does that make sense? Like Christmas Shoes. I feel like that song just was written to make people think about others during the Christmas season. I'm all for people thinking about others but not being manipulated by words. The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel is one of my all time favorites. I love the music and I love the words. 
2.  If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would it be? 
A teacup pig. I swear we call Gladys Piggy because she reminds us of a little pig and it makes me happy. Seriously. Pigs are cute and smart and there is something so endearing about their little suction cuppy noses. Really, have you touched a pigs nose? They sniff so hard and their nose is so jiggly it's like a little slimy suction cup. Wouldn't a pink pig on a leash be the cutest? Now, I am talking teacup sized. No bigger than my girls which are each a perfect armful. BTW one of my favorite things is Gladys is super cuddly lately and wants to be held and she's the perfect pig size errrr puppy, I mean.  
5.  What is an experience in your life that you feel defines you as a person? (it can be good, or bad, just something that you feel shaped who you are now)
8.  Where is the coolest place you have traveled? Describe it.
9.  On the same note, if there was anywhere in the world you could go to, where would it be and why? (for the hypothetical money and logistics are no object! :) )
10. What is a unique talent of yours?
11. If you could share one piece of wisdom that you’ve learned in life, what would it be?
Take God seriously, yourself less so, and if a day doesn't contain something that touches your heart you haven't actually lived that day. Loving costs but it's an investment that pays very well. Laughing is a must. And I jammed this altogether so it counts as one piece, right? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Last Snow Man Standing...

It was a balmy 62 degrees when I left work yesterday. Which means spring is really, really, for reals eventually coming. 

The past couple days have been so nice. On Sunday Toad-Boy and I took the kids and the pups to the park. We found a shady area that still had a significant amount of snow. And since the snowy day they came over and tried to build a snowman was a fail, I suggested they could get one last chance to build one. (Why was it a fail? Well after the snowball "fight" with killer-arm-girl and dazed-bruised-temple-GMA, we tried to get the snow to stick together but it was too grainy. Then everyones' noses starting spurting green slime and whining erupted.) But apparently they had gotten over the past failure because the two oldest built teeny, tiny snowmen. Super cute.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Oh the Things We Did Purge

So. After my lazy half week of laying on the couch and wishing for swift death, I mostly recovered. By mostly I mean that I worked a full day plus at work then came home and did some chores that hadn't gotten done while I was sick and pulled together another hundred "get rid of" items or so to make up for lost time. 

My son manages a service learning group at his local high school and they had a huge rummage sale and I usually donate. So Rob and I loaded up probably three hundred items. (I've been counting and packing things away for this fundraiser.) And I hauled it to his school early Saturday morning. But. I think my crazy making up for lost time on Friday did not agree with me on Saturday because I started feeling punk again. I cancelled my violin lesson in case I was still oozing germs and because, well, I didn't want to relapse there. It's rough enough to cry in front of my teacher, I can't imagine vomiting on him. Ya know? 

Anyhoo. Dropping the load of stuff I wanted to never see again at the school made me feel a little better, kinda. I'll tell you, the cart and the table next to it had our stuff. And that's just a portion of it, there's been way more leave my premises. YAY!!! Plus his group/club made some decent money so I feel good about donating. 

The only, and I mean ONLY negative is that I only have 24 more items to hit my entire year long goal. But I couldn't complete it before I needed to drop the stuff off and I am now at the point where I need to carefully consider whether an item is something I want to let go of. 

Not saying I don't have a bunch of stuff I could chuck and never miss, just that I don't want to go all willy-nilly and then wish I hadn't. Case in point. I have this super cool enamelware roaster that was just decorative and I eyed it "do I really need this?" At about the same time I decided I hated a corner of my counter top where we store things like powdered drink mixes, bags of protein shakes, medications, etc and I had them in a big basket that took up too much room. So I just started poking around online to see if I could find the perfect thing that would clean up the corner and make it less sloppy. I found a super cute retro break box that would be perfect I decided. I put it in my Amazon cart but didn't purchase. Fortunately. Because, DUH, my roaster was perfect, and immediate, and FREE. 

And while I was doing one more pass through my closet before the rummage sale run I made a final decision about this super cute pink bag. I mean. Use it or give it. So I'm using it. Spring is almost here. And who cares that I may or may not be over fifty sporting a bright pink velvety bag? Do you? Didn't think so. 

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles - Sicko/Puppies

My lovely caretakers during my unfortunate lost wrestling match with a stomach bug. My little helpers focused on deep tissue massage by pouncing, walking or concentrated standing on various parts of my achy body. Oh and they alerted me when any noisy trucks drove past the house. Peaceful recovery period? Not quite. But I do feel loved.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Scribbles and Scrambles - Not So Favorite Things...

This might be the shortest blog post ever. Ready for it? I HATE puking. Odd right? Cuz I'm sure you are a fan. But I did a little late night early morning experiment to test my statement. Tis very passionately true for me.  Old Faithful timing and Niagra Falls intensity out of the human body just ought not to be. No pictures today save for this one.  ( : (>>>