Yes, I’m Still Alive

Our beautiful, "as is" farmhouse is in great shape, but still needs some TLC. It's a work in progress, like everything else.

Our farmhouse in fall. It turns 100 next year!

So, yeah. I took a bit of a break from being online. Is it really November already? What happened???

I had oral surgery at the end of August, and the height of allergy season. It wasn’t fun, cost a lot of money and took a while to bounce back from. I didn’t feel like doing much for a long time, since I still work full time and have two small children plus a teenager at home. I couldn’t eat, didn’t feel like reading or looking at budgets or much else. Continue reading →

The “Someday” Garden

sunflower boy

The glories of summer are often just a memory in the depths of winter here.

Winters are long in the Midwest. Too long, really. The bad weather starts in November and doesn’t truly let up until April. Six months of blahh. Even though I’ve lived in Illinois for 24 years, I’ve never gotten used to it. I’m originally from Virginia, and my internal clock seems to still be set on their time. I’m used to the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festivals in March! The only blossoms to be found here are crocuses poking their sleepy heads up through the snow.

So I spend my winters enraptured in seed catalogs, nursing droopy houseplants, and pining for green things. And I dream about my how much better my garden is going to be “this time”.

I make plans. Oh boy, do I make plans. And this year, I made some big ones. The entire garden layout needed to change, because even though I loved the methods we were using, they just weren’t working for us.

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What To Do When Your World Is On Fire

dieting and life are both like hell sometimes

Dieting? How about life???

Ever had one of those days, months or even years where nothing seems to go right? Sure, there are always challenges, and life is rarely quiet on all fronts, but how about those times where every area of your life seems to explode in your face?

We’re having one of those months. I wish I could say, “I’ve been frugal all my adult life and my life is perfect and wonderful, we’re debt free and have no problems at all!” But that’s not reality. I doubt it’s reality for most people.

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We Are So Blessed and Don’t Even Know It

Most of the time, we have no idea how blessed we are. We walk around completely oblivious, focusing on our problems and complaining about how our lives aren’t perfect or amazing or whatever. But we have no clue what others are going through, or how much someone else might long to have even one of our “awful” days because it would be such a relief from what they’re dealing with. (They’d probably love to have our bills too.)

Maybe we’re too stressed to feel blessed. But we are.

I was recently reminded of this when a couple of different, very dear friends got hit with really challenging times. The kind that knock you down, beat you up, and leave your breathless. The ones that lurk in the back of a mother’s mind and fill her with dread.

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If Not Now, Then When?

Why is it that we postpone what we want most in life? Why do we save the “good things” for a rainy day that never comes? Recently, several events in my life have jolted me to a startling conclusion: that I am not allowing myself to be as happy as I could be, that I am postponing my own joy.

I don’t know exactly what jolted me from my daily reverie- I’ve always thought of myself as a pretty happy person. Perhaps it was my parent’s talk of retirement. Could they really be old enough to retire? Or perhaps it was the realization that my time with my kids is flying by so quickly. There are so many things I’ve been planning to do with them, but I never get around to it. I find myself asking, “If not now, then when?” If I wait too much longer, it might be too late.

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