Now What!

“…My computer was frozen on the ‘Initializing System Restore’ screen for three hours!

I had tried running backup. I didn’t think it worked. I checked the memory in the external hard drive. It wasn’t full. I decided I must have deleted something that I shouldn’t have the last time I cleaned the disk.

Finally, I shut the computer down and restarted it. Then I checked the ‘last backup date’ again. It was today. We didn’t have much to back up so it only took 3 seconds.

I thought it was October 29th. (Sigh.) …”

Journal, October 22, 2021

That was one disaster that I brought on myself. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place because my tech guy was promoted to heaven. I’m sure he had a good laugh. I am grateful for all he taught me and that he made me do it instead of doing it for me.

Disasters everywhere…

I read about disasters this week in Exodus. Each plague was a disaster but those who followed the instructions of the Lord took precautions and were unharmed, see Exodus 9:20, 21. Some plagues, God only sent to the Egyptians. But these verses showed that he spared those among Pharaoh’s officials who listened.

Isaiah 32:17, “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.”

New International Version

It’s a matter of heart…

After each plague, Pharaoh hardened his heart. Each plague showed that God was mightier than their gods who were represented by flies, gnats, frogs, etc. God struck to the heart of their beliefs. They believed that a person’s heart was weighed when they died to see if they lived in the afterlife.

“…the Weighing of the Heart ceremony. The deceased person’s heart was placed on one side of the scales; on the opposite side was a feather, which represented standards of truth and justice. … If the heart and feather balanced, the deceased lived in the afterlife…the ‘heart’ of Pharaoh was hardened or, …’was heavy.’ This might be a polemic against Egyptian theology by asserting that God is the One who ‘weighs the heart.’ “

Holyland Illustrated Bible, “The Afterlife: An Egyptian View” by Harold R. Mosley

The worst plague…

The firstborn of every man and animal in Egypt would die but in the Israelite land, not even a dog would snarl, see Exodus 11:7. Their animals slept through that horrible night.

Sometimes, before we can move forward, we have to turn back.

The Israelites left Egypt, and shortly after, Pharaoh mustered his army to bring them back to slavery. Then God gave them the oddest instruction: “Turn back and camp.”

Exodus 14:1, 2, “Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2) ‘Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Midgol and the sea; you must camp in front of Baal-zephon, facing it by the sea.’ “

Christian Standard Bible

According to abarim-publications.com:

  • Pi-hahiroth means the “edge of the hollows” or “mouth of caverns.”
  • Baal-zephon means “Lord of the hidden things.”
  • Migdol means an encampment in the mountains.

“…an enigmatic place where Israel, with Pharaoh’s army hot on their trail, was told to ‘return’ to and ‘camp before’ … Doing so would place them ‘between’ Migdol and the sea and in front of Baal-zephon…”

Abarim-publications.com/meaning/pi-hahiroth.html

The Israelites were at the edge of the hollows, between the mountains and the sea, and in front of “Hidden Things!” The sea was a seemingly impossible obstacle. But our God, the “Lord of the Hidden Things,” was there ready to show them a new path, that only He could create. This path not only moved them forward but also destroyed their enemies.

Pharaoh thought they were wandering around the land in confusion and the wilderness had boxed them in, see Exodus 14:3. But Moses said: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the Lord’s salvation. The Lord will fight for you, and you must be quiet.” (Exodus 14:13, 14).

Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t talk about it. Don’t speculate. God is moving. He drove the sea back with a powerful east wind, see Exodus 14:21. The Israelites were going east. They had to walk into the wind with walls of water on their right and left. Those walls came back down on Pharaoh, his horses, chariots, and army, killing them all.

You may be between a rock and a hard place or boxed in by mountains, caves, a sea, and the unknown. Don’t be afraid. Stand firm. Be quiet and face the wind. I pray that your disaster turns out to not be a disaster at all…like my computer.

“Feelings are not a choice. Your behaviors and thoughts are a choice.”

Mel Robbins

2009-2021 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

Hindsight is 20/20

My husband ran into my trigonometry teacher at the football game last night. Mrs. W. asked why I had not been writing posts. (I felt like I forgot to turn in my homework, lol!) I didn’t plan on it. I wrote a 3-page post on Sunday, October 3rd but decided to wait until Monday to type it up.

Big mistake. Monday, I got hit with an infection that took 2 rounds of antibiotics to kill. I should have taken the time to publish it that day.

Remember me?

Sometimes, I feel forgotten when I am sick for more than a day or two. I have friends who have battled an illness for years: diabetes, heart problems, cancer, to name a few. I’m sure they feel like God has forgotten them.

God did not forget us. He not only cares for us, he cares for our pets, our food-producing animals, and the wild animals whose sightings bring joy to our hearts. He cares that your dog misses you and that you miss him. He knows you need the fresh eggs your chickens provide. He blesses us by keeping them healthy and fruitful. He knows how it warms our heart to see a doe with her fawn and the awe a multi-racked stag inspires.

Genesis 8:1, “God remembered Noah, as well as all the wildlife and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters began to subside.”

Christian Standard Bible

Another storm…

He knows about our storm. He keeps us safe in the middle of it. We don’t understand the turmoil, just as Noah didn’t understand the flood because it had never rained!

Then a different storm arises. The wind blows against our ark of safety battering it searching for any crack to seep through. Why would God allow another storm to hit us on top of the first?

We feel the wind and so does the water. The wind is there to remove the effects of the first storm. The second battle is conquering the first battle.

Battles are long. The wind blew on the ark for 150 days, see Genesis 8:3. That is almost half of a year! Noah felt the wind blowing him around but God was blowing him to a place of rest above the storm, see Genesis 8:4. The ark was still and out of the water.

Noah lived in the ark for three more months while the wind drove the water back and the sun evaporated it. He went into the ark on the 17th day of the second month in the 600th year, see Genesis 7:11. He came out of the ark on the 1st day of the first month in the 601st year, see Genesis 4:13. He slogged around in the mud until the 27th of the month when the earth dried, see Genesis 8:14.

I wish I had known…

Two years ago, I bought a diffuser. I used eucalyptus oil in it to treat my sinuses. A patch broke out under my left eye. A month later, I started my first of 13 rounds of Prednisone to halt the rash on my face. It kept coming back.

Then they found a lump at my routine mammogram that had to be removed. I was the best patient. I stayed in bed and didn’t overdo it because I had trouble seeing anything! I rejoiced when Covid-19 shut down everything. I didn’t have to face anyone. I sent pictures of my face to my doctor online and he treated me through them.

It was 18 months later before I could see my dermatologist. He pinpointed the diffuser as the source. But after years of the maximum dose of antihistamines and decongestants, I had another problem – dry eye. The tears that keep my eye lubricated dried up and the tears normally released during pain or sorrow ran constantly.

Like Noah, I had an unrelenting storm followed by a second storm, and a third (a case of Covid-19), and a fourth (a C-Diff infection). Each of these battles was over the last two years.

Looking back…

I can see how God brought good out of each. I kept trying to write but the constant wiping of my eyes was doing serious damage. After the lumpectomy, I laid in bed listening to the TV and left my eyes alone.

The Covid-19 battle showed me that I was stronger than I realized. After all of that Prednisone, I feared I had no immunity at all. Yet, I battled Covid-19 without hospitalization.

And the C-Diff? It reminded me of the importance of eating healthy. I slacked off and ate more sugar. I couldn’t stop the weight gain from the Prednisone, so why did it matter?

It did.

God remembers me. He cares enough to send fawns to nap in my backyard. I don’t have pets or livestock so he fills my yard with rabbits, squirrels, ground squirrels, and a wide variety of birds.

Napping deer
Fawns napping in my backyard.

He cares for you, too. He will bring something good out of all of your battles.

Had I known what would happen, I never would have bought that diffuser! God had Noah prepare for the year he spent in the ark. He had a hundred years to prepare, see Genesis 5:32. What would you have done differently in 2019 if you knew what was going to happen in 2020?

Yesterday, I read about Joseph being reunited with his brothers, see Genesis 43:34. This was the second year of the famine. Joseph knew the famine would last seven years.

What if we are in the second year of seven years of hardship? Would we do anything differently?

2009-2021 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

The Investment That Never Stops Multiplying

“If you do what is right, won’t you be accepted? …” Genesis 4:7.

Christian Standard Bible

Today I read about Cain and Abel. Cain brought some produce and Abel offered a lamb. Abel’s sacrifice was accepted and Cain’s was not. He knew a sacrifice required blood. When his parents Adam and Eve sinned, God sacrificed animals and made clothing from the skins for them, (see Genesis 3:21).

Cain also didn’t give the first of his harvest, called the “first fruits.” He brought “some” of the land’s produce. A sacrifice comes from the first items harvested.

Our gifts to God come from the top. We cannot honor God by giving him what is leftover.

Everything we give to God is a seed. You harvest what you plant. Plant the best!

Giving to God is like becoming pregnant. The child grows and no one knows they are there. After several months, it is obvious a child is growing. Soon, everyone can see the new baby.

The child never stops growing. Years later, the child gives you a grandchild and they both keep growing. The grandchild matures and gives you a great-grandchild. Your child is still growing even as a grandparent!

Every seed given to God will give birth to something. The seed never stops growing or producing.

Like an acorn that grows into an oak tree. How many acorns are produced over the lifetime of an oak tree?

And the oak trees from the acorns born the first year produce an immeasurable number of acorns. And they just keep multiplying.

We invest money hoping to add to our net worth. But the money we give to God multiplies and never stops.

It’s harvest time in Iowa. The farmers with the best yields planted the best seeds.

2009-2021 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

The Chapters I “Read Today” are from the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide

Overview of the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide Year

Life of Christ

Lives of Kings Saul, David, and Solomon

Break at Easter Week

Lives of Kings of Judah and Israel

Pentecost Through Final Judgment

Judgment Comes to the Kings

Creation Through the Book of Ruth

Christmas Story

Calling of Disciples

* * * * * * *

  • Relevant: Read about Christmas at Christmas.
  • Timely: Takes 10-15 minutes.
  • Exciting: Start the year reading of the miracles of Christ.
  • Comparable: Read the same story out of each book together.
  • Unexpected: Switch our reading at Easter and Pentecost.
  • Chronological: Read prophecy books after the chapters when written.
  • Perpetual: Start on any day of the year.
  • Unique: Each year is different but covers all the chapters.

* * * * * * *

How I Wrote the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide

I’ve read the Bible since I was 13 and used several guides. I desired to read about Christ’s birth on Christmas and The Passion at Easter.

I wanted to start the New Year reading something exciting. I didn’t want to get bogged down in the book of Numbers in the winter.

I also wanted to read a similar amount of verses every day. I counted the words in each chapter. Then set the daily readings by the average number of words.

I started with the Christmas story, assigning Luke 1 to Christmas Eve. It tells of the events leading up to the birth of Christ. The story was in 3 books, I went back and forth assigning the reading chronologically. We end the year reading of Christ calling the twelve disciples.

Using the New International Version Study Bible’s chart of the Parables of Christ, I put the chapters of the books of the gospels together.

I scheduled the chapters about the Crucifixion and Resurrection to Easter week. We will read about the “Triumphal Entry” on “Palm Sunday.” We read about “The Last Supper” on “Maundy Thursday.” “The Crucifixion” covers Friday and Saturday, and “The Resurrection” on “Easter Sunday.” The day after Easter we read of “The Ascension.”

On “Pentecost Sunday,” we switch to reading Acts. It was only natural to follow the events of the early church. You stop in different places in Acts and read the letters to the various churches.

That finished the chapters in the New Testament. I had no idea how to plan the Old Testament. The answer came during a Sunday school class taught by Joe Goudy…

“The first day of the Jewish New Year was the day God created the earth.”

I was so excited! The day varies each year, (in September or the beginning of October). I set October 1 as the date to start reading in Genesis. It makes sense to study history in the Bible when our kids are in school.

1 Samuel tells the story of the first King of Israel. When we finish reading the gospels, Jesus has just ascended to heaven. He promised to return as King of Kings. It seemed natural to read the stories of the earthly kings.

When assigning chapters in 1 Samuel, I noted the same stories recorded in 1 Chronicles. I matched the chapters up so that we would read the accounts together.

While reading of King David, I remembered he wrote most of the Psalms. I thought…

“Wouldn’t it be nice to read the Psalms right after reading the events?”

I slowly went through the Psalms looking for clues about their subject and date. Sometimes the clues were in the title. Other times I had to scour the notes at the bottom of the page.

I assigned David’s, Solomon’s and Moses’ Psalms next to the chapters of events. (I never realized Moses wrote a Psalms!) There were Psalms written before the exile and after the exile. I assigned them to the corresponding books and chapters.

When I reached the time of the prophets I hit another snag. I wanted to read the prophecies chronologically. Once again I scoured the footnotes and the notes at the front of each book. I recorded the dates and assigned the books chronologically. The chapters referring to a certain date, king, or event, are with them.

Easter is on a different day every year. It is during the time we are reading the history of the kings. It is simple to pause and read the Easter chapters. Then start on the next king after Easter week.

We pause again to start Acts on “Pentecost Sunday.” We read through Revelation which is about earth’s judgment. Then we continue with the various kings’ judgment.

At the end of the Old Testament, the temple and the Jerusalem wall are rebuilt. We read the first chapters of 1 Chronicles. They list the names from Adam to those who moved back after the exile. We study those chapters in September when children return to school. The list of names is right before we read Genesis.

The beauty of the “Relevant” Bible Reading Guide is there is no beginning or end. It is perpetual, with yearly adjustments for Easter and Pentecost Sunday. You can start at any time. It takes 10-15 minutes for each assigned reading.

©2009-2021 thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.

The Secret to Happiness

Psalms 128 is one of the chapters that I “Read Today.” It was written after the Hebrews returned from 70 years of captivity in Babylon. There was only rubble, like Ground Zero twenty years ago. The temple, major buildings, and most of the houses had been razed and burned to the ground. Their captors took everything. They had to start from scratch.

The Psalm is a “Song of Ascents” meaning it was sung as they walked up to the temple. But the temple was gone. They survived losing everything and found God was faithful.

Its 6 verses reveal the secret to happiness:

  1. Walking in the ways of the Lord.
  2. Eating what your hands worked for.
  3. A healthy wife and strong children.
  4. The blessing from the Lord.
  5. Seeing the prosperity of Jerusalem.
  6. Seeing your children’s children.

The best food I ever tasted was the vegetables that grew in my garden. I remember once planting vegetables in a flower bed. At the end of the season, I found only one carrot grew but that was the best carrot I ever tasted!

You will never understand until you have grandchildren. Your baby’s baby is the most precious person.

Verse 2 summed it up: “You will be happy, and it will go well for you.” Christian Standard Version

We think our circumstances have to be perfect before we can be happy. That is backward. God gives us joy despite our circumstances. Happiness fades; joy is eternal.

2009-2021 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

Update from What I “Read Today”

When the Coronavirus “shelter in place” order came, I felt relief. I battled a rash on my face and watery, itchy eyes for months. I didn’t want to go anywhere.

The rash was a reaction to the Eucalyptus oil in my diffuser. The dermatologist said that I could not use a diffuser, scented candles, or perfume.

The first time I had to “shelter in place” was Labor Day weekend in 2004. The allergy shots didn’t work, even though we started over three times, and my only option was to avoid allergens.

Painting is one way I fill the hours. It was difficult with watery eyes but last year, during several rounds of Prednisone, I painted every room, ceiling, closet, shelf, and started painting furniture!

“Don’t despise the day of small things”

My husband bought some kitchen chairs at a friend’s garage sale last spring. They are black with oak seats. They have gold appliques on the backs and it didn’t fit my style.

We had family over for Easter and I wanted to paint the chairs before then. But there was no time. The most scuffed part of the chairs was the bottom segment of the legs. I painted just those segments. No one noticed but I smiled every time I entered the kitchen.

I painted one section of one chair every chance I could. I finished them on September 1st. I’m glad I didn’t wait until I had time to do them all at once!

“Two streams of golden oil pouring through two gold conduits”

“Where do I post the interest?” asked David.

“In the same line as the IRA,” I replied.

Granted the amount is not a lot! But I learned a secret from “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason. You want to invest the interest no matter how small.

If I leave it in my account it will get spent but if I invest it in stocks or bonds it will grow. The goal is to have multiple streams of income when we retire.

“Fully obey the Lord”

Another way I fill the hours is to play the piano. I am in limbo at the moment because I flunked my allergy test. How? I had a build-up of antihistamines in my system. There were no reactions on the prick test. We are waiting for a killing frost and then I will stop meds for two weeks and test again. I am staying inside except for a few hours on Sunday mornings when I play the keyboard for church.

I started playing for services when I was 16. I remember one worship leader asking me to practice for 15 minutes a day. I balked but I just had my second baby in two years and was a bit overwhelmed.

After a hiatus of 8 years, I started playing again. Boy did I practice then! I had to learn 4 new songs a week until I caught up. My new worship leader asked me to memorize the songs. I balked again. I was doing well just learning them.

Finally, I obeyed and started memorizing the music. There is such freedom to play without worrying about losing your place. I watch my fingers, and thanks to daily practice, the muscles remember where to go when my brain is not sure.

There is more to playing for a church service than following the music. You are there to aid in worship and must remember to worship through your fingers.

Last night I practiced an older song. I shut my eyes and sang along. It was me and God. That was when I felt I “fully obeyed the Lord.”

“Turn a pleasant land into desolation”

This is a beautiful time in Iowa. The crops are fully grown. Now we wait for the corn and beans to dry in the fields. Next month harvest will begin. The fields will look desolate without their covering of crops.

It is good to remember when I receive a blessing there will be a time of emptiness. If I continue to plant seeds all along, I will have a harvest that doesn’t end.

“Streets filled with boys and girls playing”

I was pregnant with our first child when we bought this house. The neighbor across the street had an empty nest. She told me she loved watching our children play in the front yard.

She passed away and a few years ago a young couple moved in. Their oldest was learning to ride a bicycle. His dad ran alongside him for a time or two. After the first trip down the street, he switched from holding the bicycle seat to laying his hand on his son’s back. His son knew he was still right there beside him but he was responsible to keep his balance. (That is how God works.)

David and I watched from our couch as they went back and forth a few times. We both jumped up and cheered when he took off on his own. Now I am the one watching the children playing in the streets.

“It may seem impossible”

I still battle the red, watery eyes. The ophthalmologist said it is dry eye. I have to get over it because we are scheduled to visit Israel next spring.

The trip has been postponed four times because of the pandemic. We sacrificed our truck, satellite TV, and several small things to pay for this trip. I trust that God has a plan.

“Don’t be afraid, let your hands be strong”

I refuse to give up on the Israel trip. I made a shadowbox of gifts others brought back from Israel. It’s the first thing I see when I wake up. I will keep hope alive.

“Speak the truth; make true and sound decisions”

My husband and I enjoy playing Spider Solitaire. He plays on the weekends and I play while I eat lunch. Sometimes, I play until I win. Tuesday, was one of those times. I am ashamed to admit that I played for 4 hours.

While I soaked my eyes for the third time, God whispered, “Spider is drying your eyes out.”

When we are looking at a screen, we don’t blink as often as normal. My concentration was such that I barely blinked at all!

I determined to set a timer on my phone and only spend 10 minutes at a time looking at a screen. I used it for Facebook and email, too. Amazingly, I won in 10 minutes yesterday! Today, I lost.

“Love truth and peace”

I told David about my long session and my decision. He will keep me accountable. When I hid my Spider Solitaire addiction, I felt guilt and remorse. Now that I have a plan, I have peace.

©2009-2021 frugalfish.org. All rights reserved.

Housebound and Happy – Year 12

104 consecutive days.

That is my record for staying in the house. That is over a quarter of a year!

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

My first time working at home I was pregnant with our third child. It did not go well – 5 months of bed rest. Luke was in kindergarten and Laura went to preschool in the afternoon. I worked in bed.

After Derek was born, I continued working at home for 18 months. The summer was especially exciting with a 7-year-old, 4-year-old, and a 9-month-old!

I got up early and worked before they got up. I worked during nap time. David entertained the kids to let me finish up after dinner. We took it one day at a time.

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

My first time being housebound was in 2004. Allergies went out of control and I could not take any more Prednisone. I moved the office home for a few months. It happened again in 2005. In 2006, my job description changed. I worked from home until the end of 2007.

At the end of that year, I stepped down. Three months later, the only antihistamine that worked was taken off of the market. I did not leave the house unless I was on Prednisone.

Three years later, my immunity dropped so low that if someone at David’s work caught a cold, I caught it! The doctor had me leave the house a little at a time to build it back up. But I am with only a few people.

On Sunday, I play with a worship band and I am out for four hours. The same group meets at my home for practice. On Wednesday, I play with another band and am in contact with those 6 people.

This is my new normal. I learned many things over the last 12 years – usually the hard way, lol.

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

Breathe

Take deep breaths. Do not give in to anxiety. You can do this. It is temporary for you. You may want to make working in your home permanent.

Water

You will have access to food all the time! Sometimes you think you are hungry and you are just dehydrated. Drink 2 glasses when you get up. Drink another after you exercise. Drink a glass every hour on the hour until you reach your goal. My goal is 11 glasses a day.

When you are properly hydrated, you will have extra energy. You will find yourself doing things in the evening instead of watching TV.

Tap Water

At some point in this pandemic, we may run out of bottled water. Be proactive. Pour a glass of tap water. Do you like it cold, room temperature, or over ice? How can you improve the taste? Filter it? Boil it? Infuse it with fruit or herbs? I filter my water and drink it at room temperature.

Exercise

I don’t enjoy exercise. I have to trick myself into doing it. Make it as easy as possible. I wear a sports bra under my pajamas. When I get up, I drink 2 glasses of water and start my stretching routine. I wake up slowly and am fully awake when it’s time to hit the weights or work on my core. You don’t have to wear “exercise clothes” to exercise. Pajamas work fine.

Get Dressed Including Shoes

Get dressed right away and wear comfortable shoes. Your feet need support. You will get cold if you try to work in your pajamas and a housecoat. Slippers do not support your feet. Dress in layers. You can take layers off as the day warms up.

Journal

Get a notebook and write down events during this time. It helps to process the bad stuff by writing it down. Then list 10 things for which you are thankful. Gratitude fights depression. And perform one “Random Act of Kindness.” Write these in your notebook.

Devotions

I don’t turn on my phone until after devotions. I read the good news first. Psalm is a good place to start. It is in the middle of the Bible and talks about God protecting us. You can read the chapters from the shortest to the longest using my “Baby Steps” Bible Reading Guide, or you can follow the 2020 Bible Reading Guide. I write a post about a verse in that guide each day.

Set Meal Times

Make a schedule. If you have little ones, they will need snacks. Adults need 3 square meals a day. Prepare your food and eat at the table. You will overeat if you are in front of the TV, computer, or on your phone. Eat until you are full and stop.

Measure Your Food

My weight kept creeping up even though I ate a salad for lunch. It wasn’t until I measured my food and recorded the calories that it started going down. Our food proportions are super-size! I promise you will get full if you eat the proper portion from each food group. We are seeing shortages and rationing in some foods. Don’t waste your favorites by eating 2 servings at a time.

Breakfast

Sit where you can look out a window. Watch the birds and squirrels. They are carefree. Notice the plants coming to life after a long winter. I am not in a position to eat outside but you can. Eat on the deck or porch. Watch the sun come up.

Make Special Days

At our house, Friday was Malto Meal Day. Tuesday was Oatmeal Day. Change the toppings from week to week to add variety. Pancakes take fewer eggs and milk than waffles or French Toast. But if you have dried bread to use up – make French Toast. Have a cereal day or cinnamon toast day. You can make muffins in several flavors.

Make a Food Inventory

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just write down what is in the cupboards, freezer, and refrigerator by category. When you get more food, write the date you bought it down. Scratch the item off of the list when you use it. Make menus from the top of the list. Eat older foods first.

Make Menus

Plan for each meal but be flexible. You can eat last night’s leftovers for lunch. Or set a lunch menu. Mine is a Salad, 4 vegetables; Ham Sandwich, 2 Bread, and 1 Meat; Yogurt and Fruit, 1 Dairy and 1 Fruit. My husband likes a sandwich with cottage cheese or Veggies and dip.

Plan easy lunches: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese; Chicken Noodle Soup and Peanut Butter and Jelly; Ham Sandwich and a Salad; Soup and a Salad; Egg Salad Sandwich and Coleslaw.

Dishes

Do dishes right after each meal. Our dishwasher broke and I am doing them by hand. There is nothing more depressing than a sink full of dirty dishes.

Natural Alarm

I wake up each morning naturally. I stop eating 12-16 hours before I want to wake up. My belly wakes me up!

Don’t Sleep In

Every time I slept in someone would drop by! It’s embarrassing to be caught in your pajamas. Instead, go to bed an hour earlier.

Make Your Bed

Every day. Then no matter how trashed the house becomes, you still have a nice place to return to. And if you accomplish nothing all day, you have proof that one job was finished. An unmade bed is a dusty bed. Dusty beds fill with dust mites and will ruin your sleep.

Limit Social Media and the News

Don’t check it when you first get up. Let your body wake up, feed your body, and your spirit. Then you will be ready to face whatever comes next. Shut off social media by 8 pm. You need a few hours to detox and relax before you sleep. Read a book. Listen to music. Take a bubble bath. Just wind down.

If you don’t, you may be plagued with insomnia. It’s the worst! Everything is out of proportion in the middle of the night. Do not make any decisions then. Drink a glass of warm milk and read a book. Do not turn on the TV, computer, or your phone. The blue light tells your brain to wake up.

Take a Nap

If you have insomnia, take a short nap 15-30 minutes before 3 pm. You will get a second wind to complete the day. Then go to bed earlier.

Sanitize

I sanitize my kitchen and bathrooms every morning. You can make homemade sanitizer or use what you have on hand. There are recipes online. Don’t forget doorknobs, remotes, and keyboards.

Plan and Dream

What projects would you like to tackle? What are your favorite activities? Make time for those activities each week. Have your children make an “I’m Bored” list. Only they can think of things that would not be boring for them!

Fix Something That Bugs You

I have new valances in the living room. They would not stay together. The street light showed through that space. One day I hand sewed them together. Now when I look at the valance, I love it!

Work on Your Skills

Practice the piano. Shoot baskets. Draw. Embroider. Quilt. Do Sudoku or crossword puzzles. Set up a puzzle on a table and leave it out.

Work and Then Stop

Be diligent starting work on time. Be diligent stopping on time. Do not work all the time. Set work hours and keep them. The work will wait until tomorrow. It’s tempting to keep working on a project in the evening but it is counterproductive.

Don’t Multitask

Do not throw a load of laundry in right before you start working. If you can’t wash, dry, and put the load away before work, wait until after. Keep the evening routine that you used before. It is stressful doing more than one thing at a time. Do one thing, do it well and move on.

Study

Learn something new. Or learn more about your chosen field. You want to keep your mind active. The best way is to learn new things.

Start a Lifetime Project

Choose something so big that it will take the rest of your life? Or start working on a huge project. I saved all the tee shirts from my children’s activities. Some of them are signed by their friends. I embroidered each signature. Then I pieced the fronts of the tees together and made a quilt. It took me 2 years to make a quilt for Luke. It took me 10 years to embroider the names on Laura’s tees!

Declutter

Start at the front door and work your way around the room. Do a drawer, shelf, or wall each day. What can I throw away? What can I give away? What can I put away? What can I sell that I no longer need?

Set a timer and work on it for fifteen minutes. Do just one small area. Don’t drag everything out. “Inch by inch life is a cinch. Yard by yard, life can be hard.”

Spring Clean

As you declutter, get rid of dust and cobwebs. Wipe off the shelf. Would this look better if I painted it? Does it need repair? Do I need it or should I pass it along? Once again, do just one small area.

Plan Your TV Viewing

We got rid of satellite TV. The antennas pull in 12 channels. I review what is on each of those channels before I turn on the TV. I chose how much time I will be sitting in front of it. I try to do something else at the same time: embroider, mend, and read emails or scan Facebook on commercials.

Last night we watched TV for 2 hours. That is how long it took to wash a load of towels. Then I shut it off and went to bed.

Go to Bed!

It’s tempting to stay up late but I always regret it. Set a bedtime and stick to it! You will be healthier for it. If you are tired during the day go to bed an hour earlier.

If You Are Sick

Throw this list out!

Stop the world and get off. Let your boss know you are calling in sick. Go to bed with a pitcher of water and fruit. Nap, read, rest, watch TV. That is the best cure for any virus.

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You need a schedule and you need to stick to it. You can find easy routines at flylady.net. She gives tips and encouragement to declutter your house. At the least, write down everything you do. Put it in the order that works best for you. I am a morning person. My routine may not work for you.

This time with your family is precious. Before I knew it, they were living in their own homes and starting families.

Being a grandparent is indescribable. Your baby brings you a baby to cuddle, love on, and spoil. You see your baby in some of their features.

And you know what? The house still needs decluttering and I need to spring clean. I have more things to get rid of and I have been working on it for years! Give your best to your job, cuddle your babies, and make the house take the last place.

Get outside at least once a day for a few minutes. (I cannot do that. I just keep several plants around to clean the air.)

Check on your great-grandparents and elderly neighbors. They lived through the Great Depression. They have seen a lot worse than this. They aren’t worried about the shortage of toilet paper.

©2010-2020 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

I Turned My Gold Swag Light into a Chandelier…It Only Took 28 Years

The year was 1991. We received a gold swag light from my in-laws. That is why the picture us blurry and grainy. They didn’t have digital cameras back then. I had two children and we made Christmas cookies with two of the neighbor’s children. (Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of each step.)

Swag light over mom making cookies with kids

  1. 1999 – Replaced the globes with larger ones.
  2. 2008 – Painted the globes cobalt blue with glass paint.
  3. 2012 – Spray painted the metal and chain a matte black. Then I dabbed matte brown paint and antique gold paint on it to mimic “oil-rubbed bronze.”
  4. 2013 – Installed a white snap-on, cord cover to hide the chain.
  5. 2014 – Turned the metal arms to point up instead of down.
  6. 2015 – Painted the raised features antique gold to highlight them.
  7. 2016 – Added Christmas ornament drops.
  8. 2017 – Added Star Christmas ornaments.
  9. 2018 – Moved the light up to the ceiling and tightened the chain.
  10. 2019 – Added oval, faceted Christmas ornament drops and round, faceted Christmas ornament drop to the center.

Chandelier with valance behind it

My point is…ask yourself, “What can I do to make me love you?” Don’t dispose of it – DIY it! I dreamed of a chandelier and made my own.

©2010-2019 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

Top 10 Blog Posts From the Last 8 Years

I am currently writing exclusively at thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. There is a sample on sidebar of this blog. I still share pictures and tips at…

instagram.com/frugalfishorg/

As promised…

#10 Cleaning a Box Fan

#9 Twist Ties Can Fix Furniture

#8 Making Jeans Last for Years

#7 Couch Charging Station

#6 Not Garters, But Sheet Straps

#5 Fresh is Always Better

#4 “No Sew” Way to Lengthen Drapes

#3 Repair Vertical Blind Vanes

#2 Lean, Mean, Dust Mite Killing Machine

#1 Secret Keeps Crock-pot Potatoes from Turning Black

Sunday will be the 10 Year Anniversary of my last day of work! Each year, I wrote a list of goals and a list of accomplishments. It is amazing what you can accomplish in one year!

My frugalfish tip is to look back at your calendar for 2017 and write down everything you did. It will give you the incentive to meet your goals in 2018!

Happy New Year!

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

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I am currently writing exclusively at thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. There is a link on the sidebar of this blog. I still share pictures and tips at instagram.com/frugalfishorg/.

©2009-2019 frugalfish.org and thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com. All Rights Reserved.