Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Gaining a perspective

I needed to read this on the day she posted it and again today.

With my first children I assumed chaos was the best we could expect and housekeeping was kept to the bare despicable minimum. I resented the intrusion housekeeping chores made on our life and figured no one could be expected to do them with any regularity given the peculiar demands tiny people imposed. I fell into the mindset Peterson describes - this will pass. We would wait until some future date when things would get back to 'normal.' As you can see 'normal' never came and chaos was not an acceptable status quo for the long haul. Neither was resentment.

In His divine economy God wastes nothing. If the season of life in which you find yourself has its own set of unique trials, be assured it also has its unique opportunities as well. Instead of clinging to our comfort zones we can embrace the change and ask ourselves how we might see and do things differently. We can be certain that we are able to thrive under many different circumstances. There is a reason for today.
Read the whole post: Normal is just a setting on your washer

Thursday, November 20, 2008

some like it hot...

In what have so far have been vain attempts to keep the local squirrel population from continually feasting at our bird feeder, I am upping the ante today.
I have liberally dumped in cayenne pepper in hopes that the squirrels are not little Tex-Mex immigrants who like their food hot and spicy.
In the last week or so, I have just sprinkled the seeds and mixed it in. However after seeing a blue jay leave empty-beaked? this morning, I knew I had to shovel the pepper in next time.
Here's why:
The easiest way to convince squirrels that they aren’t welcome at your feeder is also a natural and environmentally friendly one. Squirrels and other mammals can taste the hot sensation of the capsaicin in chili peppers, but birds do not. One taste is all it would take for a squirrel to learn his lesson and move on to other feeding grounds. There are commercially available capsaicin mixtures especially designed for use in birdfeeders, or you can make your own potent additive using ground cayenne pepper. Just sprinkle the powder over the seeds and mix them gently before filling the feeder. But don’t stir them vigorously or stand over the feeder while you pour them in, or you’ll endure a cloud of hot pepper fumes—and be sure to wash your hands afterward so you don’t get it in your eyes accidentally.

I have been assured by my neighbor that if I offered the squirrels peanuts, they would no longer be interested in the birdseed. Of course that makes me think, do I want the squirrels being any more nutty than they already are?
Btw, I'm no scrooge when it comes to birdseed; I buy black-oil sunflower seeds, the caviar of bird food.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Current Reads

Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater
The Joy of Cooking Cookbook by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Just finished:
Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

**Updated. I listed the wrong Bonhoeffer book. Hopefully I can post some quotes as it is a lesser known but very helpful book.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day in Ottawa

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the legalist

Him: "Mommy, are you going to wear your jamamas to church?"
Me: "Maybe".
Him: "No, you're not allowed to wear jamamas to church."

Friday, November 07, 2008

to share

We began sponsoring a child through Compassion International in June so that we could help our son understand what life is like for children in other parts of the world and because we wanted to help another family in desperate need. I chose a boy the same age as our son from a list of children who have been on the waiting list for over a year. I wanted to pick them all as I looked at each of their little faces, but Tian was the little boy who was closest to my son's age. We have since received the package from Compassion introducing us to Tian and later a letter from his father sharing more about their family. It is a remarkable experience and one that I hope we learn important lessons from as we seek to share ourselves with Tian and his family.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

winter prep

Our five year old son looking out onto our backyard patio area says:

"Mommy, aren't you going to bring in that burgalur for the winter?"
My mind is flipping through its mental rolodex as I try to recall what he calls the burgalur. Got it.
"Do you mean the bbq, the grill?", I ask.
"No, we just cover it with a tarp and leave it outside."

We have no sympathy for freezing burgalurs at our house.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All things orange

The last of the garden produce picked before the wintry weather comes. A mama pumpkin and her baby and stubby carrots.

And here are the carrots cleaned, defrocked and ready to eat with our dinner. They cooked up sweet and tender just the way we like them.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder", they say

...but my leave of blogging has made me treasure reading what others have to share more than my own blogged words.
I've been busy reading on and off the web and have had no desire to spoil that time with my own blogging.
But the silence is broken now and there is much to report for the days have been busy and the life experiences have been many.
In no particular order:
I've taken on a Sunday School class this year and have been handed some unexpected twists like the superintendent and her family leaving the church after the first two weeks of class. I'm pretty sure I had nothing to do with their departure. However, it has made a big hole in the organizational aspect of the program so every week, the remaining teacher and helper cobble together a game plan for the upcoming Sunday. I am enjoying working with the children and feel like we've been at this much longer than just five weeks. I have twice dragged out the flannelgraph set to tell the Bible story and I think it really intrigues the kids. The set is bright, colorful and helpful to the imagination as we think about various aspects of the story. Of course it helps that the average age is about five years old with some older and a few younger so they listen still. :)
My class has four students every other week as the two boys only come every other Sunday. And every week, I have the kids write or draw in thin paper notebooks something relating to the lesson. My intention is to keep all the lessons together instead of doing something each week for them to take home and forget about. When we break for Christmas, they can take the notebook home and we'll start a new one for the second half of the year.
Anyways I have enjoyed getting into teaching again, including the planning and prep work. It's a bit stressful come Saturday night if I haven't had much time to think and plan but usually by Sunday morning I wake up feeling ready to teach.
Official homeschooling stuff has not yet materialized on a consistent schedule, but our son is doing well reading and sounding out words as well as improving his coloring and drawing. Baby K's appointments have really taken over the schedule for the last six weeks and I plan on changing that trend because I do not like all the upheaval it brings to our home. Some of it has proven to be non-essential and more stress on me than anything else.
She weighed in at 15 pounds almost two weeks ago at ten months and still prefers her bottle of milk to anything delivered on a spoon. She is happy, full of smiles and play for which we are thrilled to see. And she talks and squawks in only sounds that she can make.
Big brother plays quite frequently with her and just announced yesterday that he was glad we had Baby K because now he has someone to play with. That was nice to hear.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Photo Flashback

October 2005

Necessary reminder

What I’m learning as we step (sometimes fumble) through the three-legged race of family life, these ways of getting closer genuinely make it better:

* Reach out and gently touch when you talk; make it a practice to always connect before your direct.
* Fully listen to conversations with your ears, eyes, whole body language. Smile into eyes.
* Make time for walks, a mug of hot chocolate, a chapter of a book read aloud together. There’s no better way to spend time than making time.
* Let your words fill with the affection you feel. Children don’t assume they’re loved when our words aren’t loving.
* Tuck in with long talks in the dark, a foot rub, prayers. It’s the happiest way to finish a day.
* Slow down: the priority is hearts not household tasks. Take a deep breath and preach to yourself often: “I want to be, more than I want to do.”

From Ann's Untangling family knots

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Land down under

These pictures made me smile and laugh.


Friday September 26, 2008
~cornbread muffins

Saturday September 27, 2008
~leftovers from Friday dinner
~baked chicken thighs
~green beans and almonds

Sunday September 28, 2009
~taco salad
~ham and eggs

Monday September 29, 2008
~chicken enchiladas
~raw veggies

Tuesday September 30, 2008
~ham and potato soup
~cornbread muffins

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thoughts to enjoy

Amy's final line sums it all up.
I really think the best friends are loyal and have the ability to think of someone other than themselves.
Read what I want in a friend

Mary's no concern is too small

And finally, Susan's Reading Domestic Fiction

Monday, September 22, 2008


Yesterday we drove to Montreal to attend our friend's church in order to see them become members and their boys baptized as believers. Their church is like a sister church to ours, both being Reformed Presbyterian. However they are now members whereas we are not even though we have been attending longer at our church than they have at theirs. But at her church only communicant members are allowed to partake of communion and their boys desired to be baptized. Our church welcomes all believers to partake in communion which we gladly do. We were very happy to be able to celebrate this joyous event with their family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008

Current reads

Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose
The Duties of Parents by J.C. Ryle
The Noble Fugitive by T. Davis Bunn


I have signed up to teach Sunday School at our church this year after being a helper last year. Since teaching is my background it seemed the right time to get involved more involved. I also wanted to have a reason to keep my own study time more disciplined. The curriculum is taking us through a study through Luke which is perfect as I just purchased these commentaries by J.C. Ryle after years of wishing for them.
I will be having between four and six students each week with ages ranging from six to eight years old. I also will be taking my turn at leading the large group time. I am excited to get more involved and have more responsibility but I am also taking it seriously and doing the necessary prep work. Failing to plan is planning to fail as the adage goes.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I recently created an account at Stumble Upon and often while I feed Baby K I peruse the websites that are matched to my selected interests. Off the top of my head, some of the subjects are history, geography, science, education, music, books, etc.
Shocking, I know.
Here are some pages that I have thought were worth bookmarking.
The Size of Our World
Spectacular Trees From Around the World
World Sunlight Map
Arrow of Time
Young Me/Now Me
Test Your Geography Knowledge

Are you a Yankee or a Rebel?

Yankee Test
My test results were : 39% Dixie, You are definitely a Yankee.
Was there any doubt?

Dr. Goodword's Language Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008

Alternative treatment

At about two months, Baby K developed a definite flat-spot on the back of her head medically referred to as positional plagiocephaly. She was referred to the plagiocephaly clinic at the children's hospital and given an appointment time for the end of May. During the appointment, she saw a nurse practitioner who rated the severity of her misshapen head and prescribed a helmet to correct the issue. She would be required to wear the helmet for six months starting immediately if desired and would be seen every two weeks so that adjustments to the helmet could be made at the rehab center. Adjustments meaning moving the helmet padding to accommodate the change and growth of her skull in the places desired. The expected wear time per day was 23 hours with removal for bathing time only.
While awaiting the initial appointment date, a new friend from our church mentioned a doctor who had helped their daughter with the same problem fifteen years ago. She provided his name, Dr. Robert Kidd but was not sure if he was still practicing. I quickly located his practice on the web and decided to give his office a call. I left a brief message explaining the nature of my call and within 24 hours had received a call back offering an appointment time in three weeks time. That was the beginning of May and Baby K has now seen Dr. Kidd seven times for a weekly manipulation of her head. He performs craniosacral therapy also called, cranial osteopathy in which he cradles her little head in his hands positioning his fingers usually along the side behind her ears and to outside appearances he seems to be just holding her head. But from his description, by sensing the rhythmic motions of her body and head he is moving the bones in her skull to the desired location. He has also described his manipulation as stretching the membrane separating the halves of the brain so as to elongate it and restore the head's shape. He is very gentle and careful in his handling and Baby K appears to be comfortable with the treatment. How long will this manipulation be necessary before the head is restored to its original shape? A year perhaps. At this time we have opted not to have her fitted with the helmet but to continue with Dr. Kidd's weekly manipulations. We can do both treatments simultaneously but that would mean a lot more appointments and driving as both offices are at least 45 minutes from our home.


We are now six months into Baby K's therapies and treatments and one salient thought has pushed its way to the forefront of my mind as I interact with her therapists and hear their struggles in dealing with diagnoses and behavioral issues of small children.
Parents need the gospel.
Nothing will change their children like the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Children need to know that sin is their most consistent problem and the most consistently productive treatment is a life spent loving Christ and others.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Recently discussed

"If we had a hundred dollars, we'd be rich."

And on an unrelated topic, this comment:
"Yeah, you'd be dead for life."

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This is the indoor/outdoor restaurant that a friend and I had lunch at yesterday. It is in downtown Ottawa, Byward market area. I was standing amongst the cafe tables on the sidewalk patio when I took this shot of our table. There are no windows as you can see. Fun.

Thank you Gerda for a wonderful time together.

Helping Mom

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Photo Flashback

Our son standing with his Sunday School class for the last time before we left New Brunswick to move to Ontario. He would be almost three in this picture. We dearly miss that church family and look forward to seeing them in August.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Life as seen from a four year old's camera Album 4

Friend and playmate who also enjoys taking pictures

Looking out the front door where I play and ride my bike

Our spring flowers next to the front door

Baby K on my bed being watched by my furry friends, Randy and Kingsley

Baby K sitting outside in the sunshine

Scheduling, Babywise and the Controversy

I am transitioning Baby K who is now 5 and half months old from a 3-hour schedule to a 4-hour schedule as she seems to be content to go longer. Due to the various appointments she had this week, we were on the go quite a bit, so her usual feeding times were in a constant state of rearrangement. Doing so well with these changes prompted me to make 6 oz. bottles this morning instead of the usual 5 oz ones. And then I bumped her feeding time ahead one hour and sure enough, she was hungry but not crying or upset. This coming Monday, I meet with a new OT who can help me decide when to start her on solids.
As the controversy rages over the supposed problems with Babywise and scheduling, I continue to remain convinced that my babies have thrived due to the consistent routine that a feeding schedules brings to my life. The children's hospital that provided care for Baby K's first three weeks relied heavily on feeding schedules. The other three babies that Baby K roomed with all had much more serious medical conditions than she yet they each were on a strict feeding schedule which was written up by the attending pediatrician and carried out by the nurses. I was astounded.
Three or four months ago I spent some time on the web trying to figure out what the Canadian Health organizations advised about feeding schedules since all the information I have ever seen against such scheduling practices were coming from American health organizations. It was a frustrating search as there was very little mention made of feeding schedules at all on Canadian health websites. And based on my own hospital experience, I knew that feeding schedules were standard fare in the treatment of newborns and infants.
Also, as far back as 1979, Canadian health manuals for parents promoted feeding, playing and napping babies on a schedule. So the questions for me remain. Why do the Canadian hospitals use a feeding method that the American health organizations say "puts babies at risk for poor weight gain and dehydration"? And why are there plenty of parents who like me have seen the positive effects of feeding schedules?
Parents who promote attachment-style parenting often express horror, sadness and anger over those who promote feeding schedules. I however, have been thankful for the sanity and simpleness it brings to baby care.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Life as seen from a four year old's camera Album 3

Albums 1 and 2

Snowfort built with Daddy with all the snow that kept coming.

Baby K's hospital crib

Baby K's hospital doctor.

Mommy and Baby K

My little sister at 2 weeks old.

Daddy in the hospital rocking chair.

Daddy holding Baby K's tiny foot.

Monkey visiting Baby K at the hospital.

Daddy being silly at the hospital

My nativity set and work table at home.

Our Christmas tree all lit up.

The Christmas train engine going round the track.

Nico hanging out under the chair.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

D.A. Carson's Dad

Back in May of 2004, my husband and I attended a Sola Scriptura conference in Moncton, New Brunswick where D.A.(Don) Carson was speaking. We really enjoyed his messages and I have listened to them several times since then. Moving to Ontario, we met an older couple who knew Tom Carson, Don Carson's father. They spoke highly of Mr. Carson and of his difficult pastoral work in Quebec. Don Carson has since written a book about his father's life entitled Memoirs of An Ordinary Pastor that we plan on reading. A few months ago, Pastor John Piper wrote about his invitation to Carson to speak at their pastor's conference about his father's pastoral ministry amongst French-Canadians. Piper briefly explains:
I thought that he should come and make these lectures a part of his effort to honor his father.
Read the post in its entirety.
Some well written reviews of the book that I have read are
Carson's Moving Memoirs and Ordinary Pastor

Phonics resource review

I have previously mentioned that I am currently using a phonics resource to teach our now almost five-year old to read. Back in the day, when I was in teacher's college, reading instruction always seemed to center around the whole language approach with just a casual mention of phonics. This whole language approach usually means that words are taught within the context that they are encountered in. So a book selection is made and the words learned are those that are used within that book. Sight words and word walls become important parts of an elementary language arts program. When it came time to think about what reading resource or program I wanted to use at home with my own children, I found a suggestion in The Well Trained Mind(TWTM) co-authored by Jessie Wise and her daughter, Susan Wise Bauer. Both women are well known to the classical homeshcooling movement and have put together many helpful materials for homeschooling families.
The links I provide are for Peace Hill Press, their publishing site. I found the phonics resource that they originally suggested in a local bookstore and over the course of a year had several opportunities to check it out. I never committed to buying it as the format never seemed user-friendly. On a visit home last year I spent some time in a local Barnes & Noble Bookstore and in the Education section I found a copy of The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading. I picked it up and was thrilled to find exactly the resource I had been hoping to find in the other suggested material.
Each lesson is simple, easy to follow and builds on previous lessons. The first 26 lessons are teaching the sounds of each letter of the alphabet. Lessons 1-5 teach the short vowel sounds of the five vowels. Then lessons 6-26 cover the consonant sounds. Reading the lesson to your child is as easy as reading the words written for the Instructor and using basic supplies that you probably already have at home. Some of the suggested supplies I simply replaced with my own and it works just as easily.
Another part of the lessons that I have enjoyed is what is taught in addition to letter sounds. For example, the concept that sometimes the letter "a" is printed in some books differently. Exposing children early to both forms helps them to recognize it no matter which font is used.
Also careful attention is given to learning the correct way to pronounce certain sounds, as in a voiced consonant and an unvoiced consonant. And since this is all written out for the parent-teacher in the Instructor's explanations, you do not have to go research these differences before teaching that sound. The work has been done for you.
By lesson 27, your child should have a good grasp of the letter sounds and an attempt can be made to start blending those sounds to make two and three-letter words. I say attempt because blending sounds into words does not always come easy the first time around. I tried for several weeks off and on to have my son blend "at". He just didn't get it. So I let it go for while. In the meantime on several occasions, he watched the Leapfrog Talking Words Factory at our neighbor's house. The next time I sat down with him, he was blending the letters with ease. So much for my bragging rights.
We are currently working on lesson 41 which is starting two-consonant blends.
Despite my lack of routine and consistent lesson times, my son has retained the sounding out skills learned in the early lessons.
We will be using this book for a long time as his level of reading increases.
The information for parent's in the last section of this book answers questions like:
  • How early can I start?
  • Why aren't there pictures in this book?
  • Do I teach reading, writing and spelling together?
  • How will I know if my child is dyslexic?
From my experience so far, I would highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Photo Flashback

Waiting for the tear duct surgery...with his faithful friend, Monkey

Things to look foward to...

"Someday I'll get to clean the toilet like you, Mom!"

How thrilling.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Baby stuff

Baby K has had frequent and loose bowel movements for the past three weeks, but without being sick or in discomfort. I had planned on taking her to see our family doctor this past week but she picked up her brother's stuffy nose and I didn't want to expose her to more germs in the doctor's office. Plus we have held off on getting her shots and I know the doctor will feel compelled to speak about it. So I read up and decided to make a change in her formula to see if that had any effect. So this morning I opened up the new can and she has now had three feeds and so far, no bowel movement, which I take as an encouraging sign.
Apparently according to the dietitian, bacteria can sometimes be found in the powdered formula. Perhaps that is culprit. Of course as a mom, it makes me feel lousy for even using formula at all, but there it is.
I am hoping that her body resumes its normal consistency without any ill effects.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Our Sixth Anniversary

Absolute Perfection

Baby K at five months sporting her new sunhat. I know I'm her mom, but isn't she the cutest?

True Story

Walking along the road on the way home from a trip to our local nursery, this is how some of the conversation went with my five year son.
Him: There goes the high school bus.
Me: Do you know what a high school is?
Him: Yep. It's where you sit on a really high chair for school. Oh, I don't know. Hey, that was a dinosaur track!
Me: (in my mind: a dinosaur what, where??) A high school is for older kids.
Him: That WAS a dinosaur track.

Seriously that was it.

Life lessons

Our son has entered the world of banking. His Dad borrowed five bucks from him.
So at 7am this morning, I have a little guy in his pajamas looking mournfully into his wallet, upset that Dad was taking his money that Nannie gave him. And despite my husband's reassurances that he would pay him back with "interest", my son preferred to pout. Not sure what this introductory lesson into finances has taught my son. Hopefully he doesn't buy into the idea of charging his parents interest.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Garbage day round-up

It's Thursday which for our almost five year old son is a cartoon morning. And for me, it's a chance to get my act together for the day. It also happens to be garbage day again and while my husband faithfully takes out the garbage and recycling, there is usually always more stuff that I know I want to put out. Today, I am parting with Thomas the train boxes that I have saved for several years through all our moves. Today is cardboard and I am going to flatten them and send them packing. It will give my basement storage closet more room and less opportunities for things to crash to the floor upon entry. I have been working very hard at eliminating the stuff in all my closets and have found much to discard which leaves some shelves spaciously empty.
The driving force behind my uncluttered living posts in recent weeks stems from only one thought and I hope to share that overarching thought in the next few days.

Oh how I can relate...

I love my children. I want to do the right thing. I want to do a good job for their sakes, not just for me and my ego. I want their forgiveness for when I mess up. I thought I could make it through motherhood with only a few minor scrapes. I thought I could do a good job, because if it was all about love, I’m all good. But life is complicated sometimes, and having good intentions doesn’t matter for some things. For times like these, I am glad that we teach our children a gospel of grace and forgiveness, not of works and self-righteousness. I hope the grace part sticks, because if it doesn’t, I have a feeling I’m not the only who is sunk.

--from when mom makes mistakes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Photo Flashback

Our firstborn at seven months strung up by my tights in an effort to help him stay in a sitting position. Poor guy. The pediatrician did say later that he showed symptoms of mild hypotonia. More on that later.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moms and Grandmoms

Happy Mother's Day to you both!
(BTW, neither of these ladies are MY grandmother just in case anyone was thinking that! My mother has the longer hair and my mother-in-law has the darker hair.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Why did I buy this??

So I'm sorting through all my cabinets, and it hits me:
The guilt of stuff unused.
That's the opening line at Like Merchant Ships where Meredith asks readers to post their stories of items they regret buying. Oh boy. Where does one start? Probably my first dumb purchase, which technically wasn't a purchase. Remember those stickers on Christian cassette tapes that you saved up and after five, you got to redeem them for a free tape? Why I selected the tape I did, I'll never understand. Some soundtrack tape to something I've never even heard of. I have no idea what I was thinking. Steve Green or Amy Grant would have made sense. What I picked was dumb. First regretted purchase and I am still kicking myself years later.
Let's see, what else was there? Oh yes. In high school, there were my lizards. Why I spent money on a small aquarium and heat rock for two reptiles is a mystery. I mean, other kids in my school had some, but that certainly didn't mean I needed to waste my money on crickets every week, trying to keep these things alive. I don't even remember how they died.
In this same era of regrettable purchases, I bought the "cassingle" of Milli Vanilli's Blame It On the Rain. I'm not even going to link to anything in that last sentence. It's so sad. My mother confiscated the tape and nothing was ever mentioned about it. She probably doesn't even remember.
Something more recent? Two years ago I started bugging my husband for a kitten. Several months later, he relented. We now have a full grown cat that we have put our hard earned money into and now I would dearly love for her have a new home. She's more work and less enjoyment than I originally thought. An unfortunate and regrettable decision at best.
This last month?
Soy milk. Vanilla soy milk. Purchased two weeks ago. Let's just say, I endured several cup fulls and a bowl of cereal and just poured the rest down the drain this morning. I tried. I hated to throw it away, but I was not drinking another sip. Sigh.
So join the misery and read the rest of Meredith's post and the comments that follow.
You can always feel smug that at least YOU haven't been suckered into buying THAT thing...yet.

HT: Owlhaven, she has more stories too


At least five black garbage bags of stuff.
Two large bags of clothes.
An old briefcase.
Cooking magazines.
Two shopping bags of unwanted books.
Large framed print.

Gone as of last Saturday.

And I avoided the temptation to look for more stuff when I made the drop at Salvation Army.


Friday morning from our back gate