Friday, June 28, 2013


We don't need to increase our goods as nearly as much as we need to scale down our wants.  Not wanting something is as good as possessing it.
-- Donald Horban

This made me feel rich.

Here are other things I don't want, and which, according to Mr. Horban, I therefore as good as possess: a yacht, a sports car, a fur coat, a vacation home, a Louis Vuitton purse, Prada shoes, a villa in Tuscany, a complete set of fine china, and a time-share.  I could go on.  But I think I am sufficiently amused and complacent!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Palms Up!

I know, I know!  I have bad posture.

Sometimes I catch a picture of myself or a sideways glimpse in the mirror and think, "Wow, that's pretty slouchy."

I've tried to stand straight, etc. etc.  The problem is that it isn't easy to remember to do these things all of the time.  Also, many exercises and stretching aren't suited to being seated.  And since I sit at my computer at work all day, it just adds to the whole mess.

But... I've found a quick "tip" that actually works.  And it works seated.  The trick is to turn your palms up.  You'll instantly sit straight.

Go here to learn more.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Philosopher's Stone - To Stink or Not to Stink

This is post about Hygienic Philosophy. 

A little while ago I read an article by a minimalist traveler (he takes very, very, VERY little with him).  One of the things that struck me when he posted his packing list was that he uses a "deodorant stone."  Oh yeah, I initially thought, I've seen those before... stones that are supposed that replace your deodorant but don't really work because they are some sort of New Age crystal or something.  But I thought, what the heck, I'll do some research as it's always nice to find an alternative to liquids and gels when traveling so as to avoid the whole security hassle.

What I found was pretty interesting.  First, let's start with some information on your basic deodorant.  What you use might be 1) a deodorant 2) an anti-perspirant or 2) both a deodorant and an anti-perspirant.  Huh, you say?  Let me explain -

Monday, June 17, 2013

Dying Do's and Don'ts--Hair, That Is...

I know better.  I really do.

Soon after The Magician and I met, I dyed my dark blonde hair cherry black for a Halloween party.  It was wash-out dye.  Per the package, you were supposed to use it on dark brown or black hair that you wanted to give a purple shine to.  I thought that "not working" would mean that it would streak..

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fun with Family

This weekend was full of family fun.

I went to my cousin's wedding.

Congratulations, Trenton and Cari!

At the wedding, I got to spend time with my brother Mark, his sweetie Maria, in addition to the always-fun Rachel.  We're so glad Mark has such great taste in women!  It was a good time.

Conner had his last day of day camp, so we went to watch skits, hear songs, and find out who got the Muddiest Camper Award:

Yup, that's our boy.  I'm told he worked hard for it.  This is why my sister Rachel brought a towel when we went to go pick him up.

Saturday we tie-dyed T-shirts.

They have to set for 6-8 hours, so we don't know what they look like yet.

Then we went to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat at the Rose in Omaha with Mom.  I'd never seen it before.  My verdict: I was entertained, but not moved.   It was hard to understand everything. 

We also enjoyed a walk through an Arboretum, and The Magician had a successful show.  It was a good weekend!

Sunday Thoughts on Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!

Some people don't like to refer to God as "Father" and they've got their reasons.  Usually it's that their father (or fathers, or men in general) have treated them horribly.  I'm sympathetic to that.  I think fathers are a kind of emotional necessity.  Sometime a missing father can be more than replaced by a loving and supportive stepfather, coach, teacher, uncle, neighbor etc.  But if daddy was the kind of monster straight from nightmares and horror movies, that's all the more reason that God should be "Father."  We need all the love, supportiveness, protection, understanding, rule-setting, etc. that we associate with fathers.  The more damaged we are from the men in our lives, the more we need a specifically male God, one we can trust, Who won't abandon or wound us.  That can be healing, after we learn and trust that He really is different.

I was blessed to have a stable, responsible father, one who demanded a lot, but whom I could depend on.  And I've got God, too.  Since God is everything Dad couldn't be, I can rejoice in the gifts my father gave me, and not resent the ones he didn't.

I'm especially grateful for my dad teaching me to be logical and practical.  I've really glad I have that to balance my impulsive, artistic temperament.  Thanks, Dad!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thought Experiment Results

This isn't exactly a shocker, but  I'm much happier when I'm not worrying/planning/trying make a decision all day long!

The shocker for me was actually how much time I spend worrying.  Way too much.  I didn't even last all day.

I heard once of a wise grandmother who informed her rambunctious grandchildren that bickering was only allowed on Tuesday at 1:00.  Whenever her grandkids started fighting, she made them stop if it wasn't Tuesday at 1:00, and the kids had to find non-shouting ways to settle their differences.  Then at 1:00 on Tuesday she would ask if there was anything they needed to argue about.  Whatever it was never seemed all that important by then.

So maybe I need to schedule worrying from 1:00-1:15 on Tuesdays!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Thought Experiment

Today I am not going to plan, or worry, which lately has been about the same thing.  All day.  Every time I start to plan or worry, I'm going to push said thought out of my head or offer it to God with words along the lines of, "Here, this is Yours."

Instead I'm going to try to be fully present in what I am doing.  So: "I'm walking up the stairs, enjoying the feeling of a warm, relaxed post-exercise body."  "I'm pouring cereal into a bowl, noticing the smell, sound, and color of this action."  Soon, I'm going to be enjoying one of the greatest gifts of civilization: a hot shower.  Why spoil it with thoughts of "What am I going to do about X?"

Surely my life can withstand one day of me not thinking about my future.

Tune in tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes....

Monday, June 10, 2013

Family Matters

Friday, Sunday, and today, I've been helping to deal with this:

Thanks very much to Gen D. who helped me carry stuff up the steps to the St. Teresa's Thrift Store, aka The Best Thrift Store in the World.

Congratulations Jen and Micael!

It's was a beautiful wedding because you are a beautiful couple! You're building your marriage on the ROCK and it's gonna be amazing!  Love you!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Who Knew?

Burt Reynolds was cast as Han Solo in Star Wars, but dropped out before filming began.

I have to say that I can't imagine Han Solo being played by anyone else, not even Burt Reynolds.

The above tidbit is quoted from the book Who Knew? Things You Didn't Know About Things You Know Well by David Hoffman.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

When Frugality Isn't OR Why I Should Not Attempt Math Before Breakfast

Most bloggers only write about what works.  But hey, we figure you can learn from our mistakes instead of yours.

I am fascinated by solar power.  And I'm bad at math.  So we scooped up a $1.99 solar light on clearance at the hardware store the other day.  You know, the kind that comes on the end of a stake that you stick into the ground along the sidewalk leading up to your door.  I figured we'd budget it under entertainment and see if it worked at as a night light.

Monday, June 3, 2013


My traveling skirt is finished!  It is wrap-around so that it will adjust if I lose weight from all of the hiking, or gain weight from all of the ice cream.  It is reversible, so wardrobe-wise it does double duty and it matches all three of the tops that I am bringing, as you can see: 

Both sides have a chapstick-and-two-euros pocket.  That was tricky because I forgot to do them before I sewed both sides together so I had to sew both pockets on at the same time.  Lots of what my Mom calls "pinning the H out of it" was required.

Thank you to Marcia of Marcia's Musings for snapping the pictures!  She came over for Scrabble (I lost, but enjoyed myself thoroughly), and I jumped at the chance to have a pro behind the camera.

Except for the pockets, which were my idea, I followed directions for the skirt from Sewing Green by Betz White.  She used vintage tablecloths and I used old sheets, and I used a wider ribbon for the waistband, but for the first time in years I actually followed a pattern.  It worked quite well, except that I am freakishly small, so I had to adjust where I put the buttonhole for the tie to go through. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Thoughts

Catherine of Sienna listed three stages in the journey toward mystical union with God.
-- Slavish fear (motivated by fear of punishment)
-- Mercenary love (motivated by reward)
-- Filial love or love of a very dear friend

From The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints by Ralph Martin

Weekly Round Up

This week...

... The Magician hosed down the AC unit outside, which we've been using as little as possible in this relatively cool weather
... Arwen showed me the tomatoes and strawberries she planted, and we walked around the capitol building with her mom
... We had our first blog readers from Venezuela, Canada, and the Netherlands. 
... We enjoyed our first strawberries

"Now You See Me" - Movie Review

This is a "magicians" meets "Italian Job/Oceans 11" movie.  Let's see... what can I say about the plot without giving away anything?...  It's about a handful of young magicians who get together and entertain you for the two hours you are watching them, there are a bunch of actions scenes, and funny lines.  I can't say more...  one - so as not to give away anything as you'll enjoy trying to figure out what's going on in this puzzler-action flick and two - I want you to go see it!  Yes, it's a great film.  And a cast of actors - Michael Cain, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, etc.

Here's the trailer:

I honestly can't wait for it to come out on DVD and know I'll watch it a few more times.  In my book, it ranks better than "The Illusionist" and "The Prestige."  This film is both entertaining and captures a cool magician vibe at the same time.