Tag: politics

Why coffee is good for you

I’ve known that coffee is good for you for a long time but the news is getting even better.

I’m at the cabin so can’t really download to this post so I took some photos to share and you can check out the sources.

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July. Despite the political wrangling, we live in a wonderful country.

Let’s be kinder to each other.

This first article is from Fox News

Another article I couldn’t download is from People magazine. I’m sure you can find it. That particular article is about the “Coffee Diet”.

God bless and have a good day. 

eyes

How clearing our “space” clears our minds

imagesIt’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint or painting anything can make a difference in how we feel.

I helped paint my friends TV room last year. To encourage her to think with fresh eyes, I told her to not only take everything off her walls but to fill in the nail holes as well. The idea was to get her to think more creatively. If she left the same holes in the same spot, she’d put the same things back on the wall.

Sometimes we have to get everything out of our sight before we can think. Numerous studies have shown, for example, that clutter creates chaos in our mind. Clutter is almost always in our line of vision. Having every wall covered with “stuff” or every horizontal surface filled to the brim, doesn’t give our eyes a place to “rest”.  Many paintings follow the same principle, leaving a space for the eyes to rest,  except for a Pollack painting which even if you like his paintings, you wouldn’t want more than one within your field of vision.

We need “fresh” eyes about so many things. About our homes. About our circumstances. About some of our views surrounding politics, life, religion. About our personal style. We might very well end up coming full circle in some areas. For me, I try to examine some of my political views now and then in light of what is happening in the world. Sometimes I change my views but other times I decide that my positions are still my positions.

I like knowing my beliefs have stood scrutiny and evaluation. I like knowing that I’m not afraid of facing my beliefs full-on. 

Many people though voice opinions they’ve never even thought through. They offer up their views and I wonder sometimes if they ever hear their own words. Oops, I’m digressing. We’ll save this discussion for later.

Back to my friend’s TV room.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that when we are redecorating, we need to give our freshly painted walls an opportunity to stay “nekked” (the southern word for “naked”) for a while. We need to look at accessories and paintings in other rooms and see if we can use them in our newly decorated space. It’s my belief that adopting a different perspective about something as visual as our living spaces can carry over to the not-so-transparent issues of life-the ones that really matter. A new perspective in one area often spills over into other areas.

It works for depression as well. Changing the living spaces that we look at every day somehow subtly short circuits that part of our brain that has gotten used to our familiar, though perhaps negative, environment. That change ever so subtly reminds us that our moods are more in our control that we thought. That maybe we can change something here as well. We feel just a little empowered.

Action in one area almost always prompts action in another area.

Remember this commercial saying?  “The body in motion stays in motion.  The body at rest stays at rest”? (Something like that.) This message is absolutely right-on, even if it is a commercial.

If you try this concept, you will intuitively feel the truth of it.

We can become too comfortable with too many things.

Sometimes we don’t realize just how comfortable we’ve come with some things or people who are harmful to us. We get so used to our life, our habits, our attitudes, we don’t even see the possibility of change.

Depression is much like this. Depressed people often get so comfortable with their depression that they don’t see the possibility of getting better. They’ve become comfortable in their depression. It has become their habit. And, yes, depression can be a habit, just like having a bad temper.

So we went from changing up our spaces to changing up our lives. It just all works together. Remember, change in one area is a catalyst for change in others.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

How to avoid “updating creep” with our values

(Today’s reblog has pictures of some of my favorite re-purposed furniture pieces. I’m thinking of repainting the orange chest this year.  I love orange but, hey, that’s why I buy “thrifted” furniture. I can repaint as often as I like. Spring is almost here so start looking for those great furniture pieces. I have been already. It’s supposed to be unseasonably warm next week and I’m already checking out new spray paint colors. BTW, this is one of my favorite blogs and the truth I post here is a truth I remind myself of often.)

My hubby and I like to have a leisurely Saturday morning enjoying our coffee and watching a couple of home remodeling shows we’ve recorded.  Gives us lots of good ideas.

But we both  get very annoyed with the phrase “it’s dated“.  So—-

Can we talk?

Here’s the thing.

What is “dated” anyway?  What exactly does it mean and does it say something about our self-centeredness and lack of contentment?

Oh, I know it’s supposed to mean “out-of-style” but you do realize, don’t you, that what we’ve just updated will eventually be “dated” as well? Time and the latest decorating trend will guarantee that.

I think that’s why I like certain decorating blogs more than others.

Most blogs encourage re-purposing and re-doing but not a whole late of “updating.” I find the homes that appeal to me the most are those that have a wonderful, timeless, original look and feel to them.

I love the idea of re-purposing. One such blog I just found seems to illustrate this very well.  There are many others but I just stumbled on this one while I was writing this post so it’s freshest in my mind.

I have absolutely nothing against refreshing our homes and making them beautiful.  I do it all the time. But what I am saying is that we don’t need to be so obsessed with having the latest and the best, that we throw caution to the wind where our finances are concerned.

Having to have the latest and the best is exactly what caused the housing crisis and the economic downfall in 2008. People bought homes they couldn’t afford and banks financed their foolishness. (People knew they couldn’t afford those houses no matter what anyone bank told them. We all know down deep inside what we can and can not afford.)

Don’t buy into the media hype that you must have the latest anything. Any business has as its goal profitability. Businesses that sell appliances, for example, have their bottom-line in mind when they tell you a new refrigerator will be more energy efficient. It probably will be but that’s not what their concerned about.

So if you’re considering buying a new stainless steel, ice making, side-by-side refrigerator that almost talks just because it’s more energy-efficient than the one you have, ask yourself, does what you save in energy costs really justify the outlay of cash?  Or would it be better to take the money you would spend and put it in some sort of financial program that will yield some dividends and then buy the new refrigerator when the old one dies out?

When we updated our kitchen (pictures coming soon) we did buy a new refrigerator because the side door racks were held together with duct tape. However, the refrigerator itself still worked. But because we are very limited with the space we have for a refrigerator, meaning we can only buy a relatively small one, we chose to buy a new one and donate the old one.

(This was one of those times I chose not to be “cheap” and you will hear more about my tendency to be that way  in a minute.

If you follow this blog you know my hubby and have been going through each room in our house and doing some necessary renovations as well as some “extra” things simply because we want to. But our main decision-making benchmark for each project is this:  Does it make sense for our home and our neighborhood? Is it really going to increase the value of our home? (I have yet to read one statistic that says we recover 100% of any remodeling we do. If we recover 70%, which I think might be the best we can do, that means we’ve lost 30%, which is fine as long as you realize that up front.)

So the main question we ask ourselves is, does it make sense to spend  money on this project? And the next question is, how much ?

But sometimes I can be too cheap. I’ll use myself as an example.

When we remodeled two of our bedrooms, I wanted to only paint the walls and make simple cosmetic changes.  My husband looked at the cracked one-hundred-year-old ceilings and said we needed them completely re-done.  I was not happy because of the cost as well as the mess.  And what a mess it was!

But he was right.  Painting the walls would have been silly with ceilings about to fall down!

And sometimes it’s a good idea to buy or do something just because we want to.  A little of what we fancy is absolutely OK if we can afford it.

Updating doesn’t have to be expensive anyway. Paint is relatively cheap and I often find perfectly good paint at my local thrift shops. Thrift shops also have all kinds of furniture that just need a little loving care. There are only four pieces of wood furniture in my home that were purchased as new.

These items below are some of my favorite painted pieces. I’ve had them for forever. These first two pieces are Urbane Bronze from Sherwin Williams which I made into chalk paint. I used calcium carbonate to make this chalk paint.

painted chest

2013 JAN 095

For this next piece I used whatever leftover white paint I had lying around. It is chalk paint I mixed. Since I painted this, I’ve found the missing handle. Thank goodness. This piece is at our cabin.

IMG_2194

This orange chest is probably my very oldest piece of furniture, not just meaning an antique but the piece I’ve had the longest. It’s one of the first pieces we ever bought. The “metal” inserts are various patterns of anaglyptic wallpaper that I painted silver and glued on with wallpaper paste. It looks like the wallpaper on the door is wavy but that’s the the condition of the door itself. As I said, this is a very old piece.

At present we use this bedroom piece in our TV room, smallest room in the house and the one we live in the most. Go figure.

IMG_8140

The bench below used to sit in our breezeway. I like the unusual stripe but we have eliminated this piece since then. Somebody at Goodwill, got a good deal. (Oh, my I rhymed.)

0173bb295b55a7834904042326f41994e740ea4aed

Anything can be painted.

Accessories can also be changed around. Various combinations of these blue vases have been in a number of my rooms. They each cost less than one dollar. When the blue no longer works, I’ll paint them another color.

blue vases

For the bathroom below, we contracted out to have the bathroom walls covered with  bead  board. It was a project we couldn’t do ourselves.

But what I did to decorate it was very inexpensive. The mirror and accessories are from Goodwill. The shelf was from Hobby Lobby priced at about seventy percent off because it needed painting and had a corner that was roughed up. Seeing as I was going to paint it anyway, what did I care?

I already had the small plates and I just stuck on the letters. The black balls are leftover Christmas ornaments. I just hid the hanger parts.

Total cost of this little vignette was easily under ten dollars. Isn’t the bead board great?integrityn

bathroom

But how far will we take this “outdated” line of thinking? I call it “updating creep”.

  • Do our values become outdated as well?
  • Do I have to be politically correct because to be otherwise is outdated?
  • Do I need to change my behavior because of what everyone else is doing? A good example here might be the words we use. Just because using foul language and swearing has become commonplace even among Christians, does that mean I should climb on board?
  • Do I watch television shows that are offensive on a number of levels because to do otherwise makes me look outdated?

Our thinking in one area almost always affects our thinking in other areas. We don’t live in little “bubbles of separateness” like the bubbles that are used to depict conversations in cartoons.

Every part of our life and our thinking affects every other part.

There’s a wonderful saying I heard somewhere

Learn to love what you have.

Don’t change your views, your behaviors, your habits, just because someone has told you they’re outdated. Or that you won’t stay relevant. Or that you’re “out of touch”,

However, do be sure that your views, behaviors, and habits are built on your understanding of scripture. I often reexamine these areas of my life to be sure I’m living as I believe and that those beliefs square up with scripture.

Whew, this post took a life of its own.

God bless and have a good day.

Hallmark movies

Why Hallmark Christmas movies are a good idea right now.

Wow. Last week was something, wasn’t it? My hubby and I stayed up till the week hours of the morning and I was so glad when I woke up the next morning thinking it was all over.

Not!

But Christmas is coming and I refuse to let the continuing political storm ruin my holidays.

So I’ve decided to start to watch Hallmark Christmas movies way early this year. Usually I wait until the first of December but not this year.

Hallmark movies

This year, I need schmaltzy, tears and laughter. I need “feel good”  and “fairy tale” endings, where love and goodness always triumph over meanness. Mostly, I need “predictability”.

So this is how I’m coping this year.

I think this might be the first year that if we’re going to have a good Christmas, we may all need to actually work to do so.

I love the Christmas season but this year it seems that with the nation’s turmoil, my mother’s care requirements, and my continual back issues, I’m most definitely going to have especially “draw close to God, so he will draw close to me”. (James 4:8)

So if you’re like me and having to dig down deep in your faith to capture the spirit of Christmas, remember this.

The political scene surrounding the birth of Jesus was just as tumultuous as today, maybe even more so. And yet the Prince of Peace was born into that climate.

We can invite that same Prince of Peace into our lives now. We can experience that peace amidst the current unrest. While Christ entered the scene at a point in history, it was for all points of history.

It was for today.

The only way I know to counter this unrest is to be the best example of God’s gift of peace we can be. I don’t write this to suggest we have to agree about issues we feel strongly about but that we remember that “issues” aren’t people. People who are dealing with the reality of their own life. People who are scared or mad. People who are angry and confused.

I have been accused of being somewhat naive because I really do believe all this “religious” stuff. But what choice do I have? I either believe God’s message of hope or I don’t. And if I do, then  I HAVE to believe that hope can make a difference in our world.

I have to believe I can make a difference in my little corner of the world.

 

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

 

plaid

Why we should change election day. Wink, wink.

I think we should change the month and day for our presidential elections. I mean, two months out from Christmas.

Really?

I was at JoAnn’s (our big fabric and craft chain here in the US) yesterday and the lines were already really long. I’ve searched Pinterest (mostly my own boards because I have a lot of boards and a lot of “pins” without looking elsewhere) to inspire me. I’m going flannel and plaid this year.

Here’s some “pins” you might enjoy.

plaid

plaid-pillows

rag-garland

Here’s the fabric I bought. Only one plaid. It was all they had that I liked and that was on sale. I’ll head to Goodwill to look for some plaid shirts but this flannel, after all the discounts, was only $2.60 a yard. That’s even cheaper than a flannel shirt at Goodwill.

Christmas fabric

Oops, back to changing the day of our elections. (Pinterest always does distract me.)

It must have been a man who came up with this because no self-respecting woman would. The first of November is the beginning of the busiest time of the year, for women anyway. For men, it makes no difference.

Plus, it’s colder and the days are significantly shorter. Here in Michigan, it is already dark by 6:00 and with the time change coming up this weekend, it will be dark by 5:00 and that’s on a sunny day!

Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather vote during the spring or early summer when trees are starting to bloom and flowers are starting to spring up? Wouldn’t it put you in a better mood?

I mean this year no one is excited about voting anyway and we poor souls above the Mason-Dixie line really have to muster up some enthusiasm. These dark days don’t help our mood.

So let’s get a petition going to change the day of the election. We’re not an agricultural society anymore so we don’t have wait till the “crops are harvested.”

Let’s us women start a revolt. Let’s schedule election day somewhere in April, May, June, or July. We’ll just all be in a better mood.

Hmm, I guess I’m a “fair weather day” voter.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

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