Saturday, December 22, 2012

Living in the Light

I volunteered to teach Sunday School again.  My first lesson was about Lightness and Darkness.  There are many references to light and dark in the Bible.  Regardless of your religious affiliations there is a lot of truth to the fact that many of  us  live in our own sort of darkness. 

So, what do I mean by Darkness?  It is not necessarily the physical absence of light, such as you would find on a cloudy, moonless night or in a windowless room.  Darkness is portrayed by many feelings such as sadness, depression, apathy, ignorance, guilt, selfishness, fear.  It can also be the innocent acceptance of other’s ideas.  For example, often on Facebook, ‘friends’ will post a comment about a current event.  A little research can prove whether this is a factual or fraudulent comment.  Are we that willing to accept what others say as Gospel or truth?  Why have we become so lazy in our lives?  Do we enjoy living in the darkness?  Are we not a more advanced society than we were 100 years ago?  If that is so, then why are there so much evil in the world?  Evilness is another form of Darkness.  

What does it mean to live in the light?  Once again it is not a sunny day or a room filled with many lamps.  Lightness comes from within, just as Darkness does.  You can recognize that Lightness is the opposite of Darkness.  

Lightness portrays itself as happiness, love,  empathy, respect, peace, joy, patience, gentleness, self-control.  I believe that life is much better when I live in the Light.  It is not easy to live in the Light.  In fact, for many, living in Darkness is easier.  It takes courage and effort to live in the Light.  I often tell my students that they need to ‘do the right thing’.  Living in the Light is like that, doing the right thing in every situation.  That may sound impossible to you.  In fact, it may well be impossible to do the right thing EVERY time.  Is it not worth the effort though?  I believe it is.  

2012 has been another challenging year for me.  I have dealt with a lot of happiness and quite a bit of sadness and frustration.  Through it all, I have persevered.  My efforts to live in the Light have been what pulled me through.  It is easy to sink into Darkness, but that is not where I want to be. 

Where are you?  Do you live in the Dark or the Light?  Is there where you want to be? 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The 600--After the Yard Sale!

Yes, I had ANOTHER yard sale. This one was in conjunction with my friend Janice's yard sale.  This time, however, I did NOT have the most stuff of the participants!  Janice had me beat my 1000's of items.  I had a fairly successful day, and I know that Janice had a fabulously successful day! 

So, today, I sold or gave away: 

black binder
bike bell
shoulder bag-luggage
5 percy jackson books
bible atlas
curtain pattern
2 yards fabric
2 insulated cups
3 pitchers
onion keeper
3 computer games
3 airplanes
2 cake pans
quilt marking tools
bag of pens/school supplies
notebook briefcase

Of course, this is what I can remember.  I did not keep a tally as I did in my previous yard sale. So here is the current status of the 600: 

Total removed:  514
Total received:     56
 total remaining:     86

I am finally under 100 items!  I believe that I will accomplish my goal of purging 600 items before the extension is finished.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

the 600. After the Vacation!

Our Birthday Adventure was fabulous!  Cat and I had a wonderful time, even with the incredible heat. 
I did make some purchases as gifts for my friends and family.  Of course, a few for me as well!  So, here is the status on the purge of 600 items!

Today, I gave away this styrofoam box. A very reliable freecycler named Richard is now the proud owner of this box.  It was originally used to ship something here (I have no memory of what!) and we saved it thinking we might have a use for it.  NOT.  So, it is now gone. 

I have been purging my books yet again.  I listed several on, and offered several to my fellow teacher Beverly. Beverly is now the proud owner of Millions to Measure, The Great Divide and Full House.  All fantastic math related story books that can be utilized with fun lessons in the classroom.  I know that Beverly will put these to good use.  She does not know it yet, but she will be receiving Mummy Math, Maps and globes and The Best of Times. 

I have also given Beverly my Tree.  I created this tree from Matte board.  It was used in a writing project in the beginning of the school year. The white squares are velcro where I attached Leaves with the students' names on them.  The writing assignment was entitled "I'm turning over a new leaf" and focused on what changes they were going to make in the new school year. 

Today,  I sold a book on  Photo courtesy of! 

Total given away:  419
Total received:        46
total remaining:       227

Getting there! 

Monday, July 2, 2012

The 600. Repurposed items!

 In my travels, I often come across interesting fabrics or incomplete projects that are just asking to be repurposed into something else.  Sometimes they are even from my own stash of unfinished projects.  The striped placemats were originally from a quilt class that did not quite make it to completion.  I loved the fabrics and the colors, so the pieces remained.  I wanted to bring a gift to a friend of here are a set of nifty colorful placemats! 
These embroidered floral pieces were found in a thrift store.  They were incomplete pillowcases and table runners.  I loved the work, but did not want to finish them for their original purpose.  Since I wanted to bring a gift to my aunt and uncle, here is a set of nifty placemats!  

This purse was created from a small piece of upholstery fabric and some scraps left over from another project.  It has a piece of metal carpenters tape in the top to help keep the top closed.  The strap I created by twisting together pieces of DMC Floss (of which I have tons!) to create the twisted cord. 
So these 17 items will be leaving the house.

Total removed:  410
Total received: 36
Total remaining: 226

Thursday, June 21, 2012

House Addition

The construction has begun!  Here is a view from the front of the house showing where the addition will be.  We are adding two rooms onto the house here.   

This is the hole where the foundation will be.  The walls are in place and the concrete is hardening.  In the background is the HUGE pile of rocks that was delivered earlier today that will be used to fill the hole before the slab is poured. 

 This is a close up of the huge pile of rocks! 


Oh, wait!  More rocks were just delivered!  Now there are TWO huge piles of rocks in the yard. 
To be continued.......

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Productive or not?

Perhaps being home is not good for me. 

This morning, I started off with breakfast and a good book.  I wanted to finish it to see if the bad guys were caught.  I felt like I was being too lazy, so I went downstairs to clean my studio. 

There, I found the broken crayons I wanted to make into a jumbo crayon for Tony.  I went into the studio closet to get the wax melting tools.  Once there, I discovered the candle jars with the remnants of candle wax in the bottom.  I wanted to get those candle jars out of there, so they needed to be cleaned.  Since I was already melting wax for crayons, why not make a candle or two? 

It takes time for wax to melt, so I peeled all of the crayons.  (The wrappers will be composted)  Now, I have two candles cooling, along with the jumbo crayon. 

Then I remembered I needed to clean the bird cage.   I washed the cage bottom, changed the paper, vacuumed the floor and got that task completed. 

While there, I wrapped up the plastic bands that I am saving for a future project, and took them downstairs to the studio. HMM---didn't I start there? 

One the way, I passed the vacuum and the pile of photo albums.  A task and a project. 

I vacuumed and while doing that remembered I wanted to clean out the storage closet to check for mildew ( bit of a water problem under the house previously). 

So, I bounce around from project to project, activity to activity.  I wonder if I will actually finish anything else today. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The 600!

No, we did not adopt a penguin! 

I just needed a photo to add to this blog since I have no photos of what I purged this week!  These penguins are at the St. Louis Zoo!  Rob and I visited there last weekend. 

It has been a Freecycle fest here lately.  I managed to get rid of ALL of the books that I had from my classroom library and the remaining books from my own collection, along with several other items.  

While visiting Rob and Izzy, I agreed to take a box of items they no longer needed.  It is easier for me to give these items away than it is for them. 

So, I freecycled a glass baking dish, a large pot and a frying pan, several articles of clothing, two glasses, three plastic tumblers, three small glass bowls, and I also got rid of a huge box of bubble pack! 

These items do not count in either what I acquired nor all comes out even. 

Total removed:  358
Total Received:   22
Total Remaining: 264

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The 600. More items sold!

e-Bay came through once again.  While I am not as huge of a fan of eBay as I used to be, there have been some recent successes for me.

Today, I sold my two Flocabulary books and CD's. 

So, that means there are  4 more items out of the house. 

In addition, on Friday morning, I stopped in at the Gleaner's House and left them with a bag full of clothes.  The total count there was 24 items.

 On Thursday morning, I gave Tony two network cables that were extras here.

Total Purged:  327
Total Added:    22
Total Remaining:  273

More than half way there!  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Game of Life

Now that TCAP is over, I am running the Game of Life in my English Classes.  The game is similar to the board game called Life.  Students pick cards that give them a career, salary, family, cars and apartment requirements.  They then learn to read car ads, figure out car loan information, create a monthly budget, write checks, keep a check register, look at apartment ads....basically becoming familiar with life.  They also get to draw one or two LIFE cards each day that give them those unexpected events!  Some of the events are good (receiving money), some are not so good (paying money). Many of the life events are funny. 
The students always have fun with this, even though they are working and learning! 

Yesterday's homework was to write a letter to a friend describing their 'new' life.  Here are some excepts from the letters: (no corrections made)
"  We have two kids, C is 11 months and B is 1 year"
"By the way, I broke up with A, we had a fight over tomatoes."
"I am married to Justin Bieber. He is a singer, of course, and he makes $42,000 a year"
"My wife is a dedicated profesional office worker who travels a lot."
"We don't won't any kids because they cost money."
"My husband is a farming"
"I own one child named Cody"
"My husband makes $32,000 at his job as a perfesonal soccor player."


Sunday, April 29, 2012

The 600 (the series!)

I guess that these posts on the progress to remove 600 items from my house is a series...thus the new title.

I have added a number of items to the house this week, mostly as I needed additional tops to wear to work.  Now that I have lost weight, my shirts were too large!  I was down to 5 acceptable tops for work.  If I neglected to do the laundry, I was out of luck!  So, I went shopping.  I also purchased a new pair of workout shoes, as my old New Balance shoes were causing foot pain.  The shoes were actually not supporting my foot well and causing additional supination of my foot.  I purchased a pair of Merrill's that are wonderful!  No foot pain at all after wearing them all day yesterday.

So, onto the progress of the 600.

My Motorola Xoom died a couple of months ago, and while Best Buy took back the tablet under the extended warranty I had purchased, they did not take back the cover or car charger (not covered under warranty).  I also had a docking station that was a freebie when I upgraded to 4G.  Useless to me.

Onto eBay they went.  The auction ended today and  now they have a NEW home in Florida!

total purged: 291
Total added: 22
total remaining to purge: 331

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The 600! Yard sale!

Okay folks, today was the YARD SALE!!  Carolyn, Deb and I were very successful in purging our respective homes of items that we no longer wanted or needed.  Many, many items found new homes today! These were the photos I took before the sale began.  I did not photograph afterwards.  (OOPS) 

Now, I tried hard to keep notes on what was leaving, and while it was a challenge, I believe the below list is complete.   The total came to 167 items that I can best guestimate.
Total purged:  277
Total items purchased:  13
Total remaining to purge:  336

T-shirt      1
incense burner 1                                                  
75 books

space bag 1
radio/cd player 2
Desk set (box, filer, pencil box 3
lamps 2
pillows 6
telephone  3
cell phone & accessories 6
glow necklace 1
candle 1
paper sorter 1
plastic container 1
computer mouse 1
latchhook kit 1
sign language cards 1
can opener 1
flashlight 1
sombrero 3
fabric bowls 2
picture frame 1
ribbon rolls 4
chess set 1
star wars battle ship game 1
suncatchers 13
popsicle sticks (bags) 3
frisbees 2
bracelet 1
library signs 12
balloon cutouts (packages) 3
clipboard 1
 bar chairs 2
purse 2
boxes 2
metal carrying case 1

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 600

Vince announced today that he was taking his weight bench and weights to work. He plans to put them in the hanger for everyone to use. At first, I was not going to count them in the 600, but he said that he doubts they will return to the house. So, they count in the purge! I know the picture is weird, but I took it after he loaded everything in the back of the truck. The total removed is 18 items!

However, with the purchase of a new dress for the wedding, new shoes and some skirts for summer, I added several items. I did purge a pair of shoes that will go to Soles 4 Souls.

total purged: 110
Total added: 12
total remaining to purge: 502

The YARD SALE is this Saturday, so I will be posting photos and counting items on Saturday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The 600

I had lunch with my friend Cherie today! While attending Freed-Hardeman University to earn our MEds, we spent many hours together talking, studying, planning, laughing and eating. Since we graduated, we have made it an annual event to get together after school ends to have lunch and catch up.

Since I am purging my house of a number of children's books, I offered to let Cherie look through my collection to see if she could use any of them in her classroom. Thus an early lunch gathering.

So cheers for Cherie, who took 20 books for her classroom. Or should I say 20 Cheers for Cherie??

Thank you, Cherie for taking these and giving them a new home where they will be appreciated and enjoyed.

Only 513 left to go.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The 600--more items removed!

Spring Break officially began today at 3:01PM.
Vince is leaving tomorrow to take some items to his brother Sal, and help his mom move.
I was slow on taking the photos, but here is the lawn-mower and aluminum ladder loaded into Vince's truck.

Here is a photo of the storage box on the trailer which is currently housing the following items: mower deck, spreader, tiller, and edger.

This is the green wagon that will have a new home tomorrow--a lovely freecycler named Wilda is giving this wagon a new home.

This brings the total removed to 71 items. We did add those 4 items, so I have 533 left to go!
Now that Spring Break is here, I will be able to get into the boxes in the garage to sort and price for the yard sale. I will also continue the household purge. None of those items will be counted until they are sold! But at least I can get a count of what is there!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The 600--items added :(

I am sad to announce that we have added 4 items to our household. Two of them are t-shirts for the Bunny Run Car show in April. The Car show is sponsored by the car club that Vince belongs to, as volunteers, we wear the club shirt each year.

Vince also purchased two nifty toys for his driving experiences: One is a camera so he can see what is going on behind his truck (very helpful in connecting to the trailer). The other is a GPS.

So now we have 540 left to purge.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The 600: Items 41 through 64!

Huge haul today!
I sold another book on The Eleventh Plague! I neglected to take a photo of the book before I wrapped it up for shipment; so here is the one from

Also, we dropped off our door prizes for the car show in April. Included in the door prizes were 4 sets of car placemats (each set has 4 placemats, so that is 16 items!), a helicopter kite, a table runner, a small quilt, a candle, a laser level, a 3-d wooden puzzle, and a poster set to color.

Only 536 more items to go!

Monday, March 12, 2012

600 Items (# 38, 39 and 40)

Today, I made a long awaited sale on A DVD of Sommersby has now found a new home! (all say YAY!). Item number 38:
As I was searching for packaging material, I realized that I use new envelopes that were sent to me years ago by Terracycle. For a while, Terracycle had a glitch in their system. This glitch resulted in them mailing me a package of 4 recycling envelopes every week! Since I did not have a shipment to send out every week, let alone 4, I have quite a stash.

So, since these envelopes are all brand new, never used, does the envelope also count as an item purged?? I am holding off on that decision right now.

Items number 39 and 40 are the bike that I gave to Whitney and the bike chain that I will give her tomorrow.

I also identified several more items for the yard sale, which is scheduled for April 21st.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Several months ago, I was given two parakeets. I loved the idea of having birds so much that for Christmas, we purchased a larger aviary and added to our flock.

There are now 6 parakeets residing in our aviary! Here are three of them just hanging out:

From left to right you can see Blackie, Lute and Mellow.

In the photo below, you can see Yellow, Bird and Captain Bluebeak. Bird and Captain just lost their pinfeathers and you can see that Bird's head feathers are still white, while Captain's are turning yellow.

They are all an interesting blend of colors, which is one of the aspects that I love about them!

They can be noisy--chattering and yelling at each other, but I have found that playing classical music helps to keep them calmer.

Today, I introduced some turkey into their diet--the second photo above shows the white dish with this treat on it. They are on their second helping. Next will be fruits and veggies (but I have to go grocery shopping first!)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

600 Items, week 2

Not much to dispose of this week, I dug around and located 12 t-shirts that need to find new homes. That brings the total removed to 37. Only 563 more to go!

I did clean up the garage a bit and found a few more items to put in the yard sale boxes. I am not actually counting items delegated to the yard sale piles until they are actually sold or donated somewhere at the end of the sale. That will be a photo opportunity!

The two items I listed on Ebay are still unwanted...the auctions end tonight. I will most likely relist them.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

600 Items

We are adding an addition onto the house. This is a shot of the outside. This is where the new wing will be built. The window to the right is the bathroom window. Just beyond that is the window to the guest room.

Once built, the new wing will have a kitchen, living room and bedroom. The existing bathroom will be enlarged for her use as well.

My mother-in-law will be residing in the guest room until the new wing is built.

Yesterday, Vince informed me that the addition will add 600 square feet to the house. I said we should get rid of 600 items, one for each square foot.

He laughed.

I am going to track what we accomplish.

The basic rules:
1. Items purchased will count against this 600. So we should avoid buying anything else!
2. Trash and recycling do not count.
3. Consumables do not count.

I have started an excel spreadsheet to track and count what is removed. I will also attempt to document through words and photos how this experiment evolves!

Yesterday, I did sell two purses at the Expo, so that is a start. I just posted two items on Ebay last night and I have several items listed on Craigslist as well. I also have a load of boxes in the garage for the March/April yard sale, so I will be counting those items then!

Hopefully, I can motivate my spouse to go through his stash of boxes in the guestroom closet and in the garage!!!

Sunday UPDATE: Huge thank you to Jennifer for taking 22 children's books from my library for use in her classroom! She is also the proud owner of a new tote bag!
Now the total is up to 25 items!