Friday, November 15, 2013

Marking the Time or Making A Mark In Time?

(photo credit)

I can't believe how quickly the summer got away from us.  Now the Holiday season is right around the corner!  I don't like that our "big days" have lost so much of their sparkle.  Our lives have been in such a state of flux that nothing has any kind of pattern, good or bad: no great planning, no anticipation, no festive air.  Nothing is really any different from one day to the next, yet everything is always changing.  It's not boring, in fact it's an exciting and adventurous way to live, but it doesn't lend itself comfortably AT ALL to celebrations or feasts or what most folks consider to be 'typical' traditions.

I really want to make the big dinners and the family time special, but all the sudden I don't seem to know how to go about it.  We did pretty well with it last year, but looking back, it was only a nice meal that was 'festive' and the rest was just like any other day.  I don't need to decorate and plan games or any thing, but I would like to create memories with my kids while they are still here.

Last year, Thanksgiving was great!  Allen cooked a good portion of the dinner outside in dutch ovens, taking LOTS of work off of my shoulders and allowing us all to spend some really wonderful outdoor time doing what we like.  Granny came out for the week for a really wonderful visit, and the whole thing was quite memorable, if not festive.   Everything was nice and right and I think we all enjoyed it.  We had pictures and leftovers and naps and messes, as we should.

We will be alone this year, just our immediate family, which is OK.  We like our home and each other's company, and we have always liked Thanksgiving the best.  It's a get-to-be-with-family, lazy, lay around and eat kind of a day: all our favorite things. We really like our rather non-traditional Thanksgiving food, as well.  Most people have the turkey and stuffing thing, but we usually do roast or stew, sometimes ham, and green beans, taters and gravy and all the good side disshes.  We'll probably try cooking it outside, campfire style again this year, too.  That was just about the shizz, right there!  We may take in a movie, or eat out the next day. Fun time, fun times.

As for Christmas-- unfortunately, last year's Christmastime just sort of came and went.  We are very anti-everything-modern-commercialism-has-done-to-Christmas at our house.   One year we actually tried to 'postpone' Christmas for a month or so and do it our own way without all the ridiculous hype, but it felt sad and flat and we determined not to do that any more.  We've tried to disentangle the typical gaudy Christmas decor from our celebrations, but despite the department stores, it's still always been a traditional and happy part of Christmas for us, and we missed the pretty lights and shiny things.  We'd rather not allow the likes of Walmart to rob us of our wonderful traditions just because they are tacky and greedy.

I would like to think up some more clever ways to make Christmas memorable and happy and "Christmassy" again without falling into the Santa, Coke-a-Cola bear, zillion dollar trap and whatnot.  Our house is very tiny, so extensive decor is out.  We have a string of lights up over the couch/dinette area, and it is very nice.  I tried to add a cheap little, tiny tree with fiber optic, multi-color tips to the festivities, but it was such a silly (and really ugly) little thing that I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving that off this year.

I think maybe we'll go back to one of our old traditions and have stockings up for the two weeks or so before Christmas.  I would always wrap tiny, silly little gifts and add them day by day until Christmas Eve.  They could take them out and feel and shake them and try to guess what they were.  I think they'd like that.  Maybe if I add some home baked goodies a few times and force some old corny movies on them, it would be good.  :)  I want to clearly mark the holidays this year as being special and happy.  Time with my kids is slipping away faster that I realized!

One thing is for sure -- I'd better get started!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Write A Lot of 'I Forgot To Blog' Posts

I'm not sure why I don't blog.   I enjoy blogging, I just sort of forget.  A schedule here in my home is pretty much non existent, so blogging is something I can remember to do between, say, items F and G on a list, or after school, or after the days' work.  Things are so fluid and changeable that nothing really rings a bell for me like that.  I might consider setting an alarm on my calendar, but we'll see.  At any rate, I am posting just to (hopefully) prime the pump a little and get it up and going again.  I hope see you here soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If The Media Doesn't Like Him, Well...

Is it too soon to start talking about how to choose a candidate?  Is it too soon to start looking at Presidential candidates?  Well, the big media and the news herd have already started talking about Rand Paul.  Obviously they're trying to get a head start on destroying his chances.  They say don't like him.  They say he's scary.  They say he's inexperienced (yes, they actually had the hair on their backs to say that out loud with straight faces.).  That's all I need to know to look into him a little more closely.

Could You Vote For Rand Paul?  

The short answer, if you're just taking a survey, is yes.

The long answer has to do with how much I do agree with him and whether or not I think I can deal with the differences.  

The inexperience factor of the junior senator has to be addressed.  Yes, he's a noob.  We've seen the disastrous consequences that a certain junior senator from Chicago has saddled us with, due in part to inexperience, but I tend to think that has less to do with things than most people do.  These top guys get tons of very experienced counsel from hand picked people to join them in leadership.  I think the failure of the current administration has less to do with the leader's inexperience and more to do with his ideology and that of the people he has chosen as advisers to further his ill conceived agenda.  You become like those you surround yourself with.  If you surround yourself with intelligent, experienced and successful people, you can benefit from them.  If you surround yourself with thugs, criminals, radicals, race baiters, Marxists and terrorists, well... you see my point.  I am not put off by inexperience as much as I once was.  Obama has proved that even the most inexperienced can achieve their goals with the right people in place.

I've been a registered Republican for all my years as a voter, but I haven't been a republican in many years, at least not the way they are now.  I still hold to the platform for the most part.  I just wish they still did.  I think I'm more of a Conservative Libertarian.  I think Rand Paul, too, is conservative, probably adheres to the Republican platform but no longer to the party.  I don't have to see eyeball to eyeball with him in order to support him.  To discount a good candidate because you don't agree on what brand of gum to chew, or whatever, is pretty immature.

He wouldn't be able to pass laws to enact everything I do like and he won't be able to pass them all for the ones I don't.  No president is ever going to change everything during his own time in office.  There's no worry that after eight years with Rand Paul we're all going to be just like him or forced to live inside his world view.  He will have influence and make some changes, but no single president alone during his time in office is going to re-make America.  

Having said that, at this point in history I would *almost* vote for an anarchist over one of the two parties that get handed to us every election cycle, just to get us turned and going in a different direction.  Even an anarchist, in one or two terms, is not going to take the country all the way into anarchy.  That's silly!  He might, however, get things going in a direction other than the one we're in, which is a fast, right-hand swirl down the drain if we keep following the pattern we've been following.

I guess it comes down to character.   I know character is not supposed to matter any more, but it does.  Rand Paul has been consistent.  That's an admirable trait in today's politics.  He has been actively involved, present, voting yea or nay, not abstaining or missing in action, and he's seemingly tireless.  I believe it's his intent to get back to where the government is of/for/by the people, where politicians are public servants.  (That almost made me laugh!  It's been a while!)  That's is a great goal and should be a common goal.

I also think, for what it's worth, he means what he says.  That's not to say he can't or won't go the way of other politicians, because Washington has it's Washington ways, but I'd like to think he would continue to maintain his character.  Thus far he has, and that's what I have to go on.  That's practically an argument for him and his noobosity.  Maybe it will take a while for them to get to him.

I believe he is more of a "regular guy" than any of these suits that have been paraded out before us in recent years (decades) and can still see the forest despite the trees.

And, he's likable.  Evidently his "likability" crosses party lines.  That can't hurt.

I know one thing: If Libertarians, Moderates, "Reagan Democrats," Republicans, Tea Partiers (and whatever other group would like to see the government reigned in) don't stop making their voting decisions based on single issue, pet projects like a bunch of dang toddlers, we're going to keep getting George Bush and Barack Obama.  Educate yourself, vote your convictions and for the candidate you think is best able to accomplish the most at this time and who is likely to get the chance to do so.  

Voting for candidate 3 or 4 is noble, and I can understand why you would and have done it myself.  I don't consider it a "wasted vote".  Votes are wasted when we wind up with the guys we've had in recent history.  I never want to have to vote against anyone or hold my nose and vote again.   THAT is a wasted vote.  The problem with 3rd party votes is that they can't rally enough support no matter how qualified or right for the job they are, and they detract votes from other candidates.  In many cases that's fine.  For instance: Barack Obama or John McCain.  Seriously?  Vote for ANYONE else!  God help us!  

However, in an election where there is a possibility of having a decent candidate make it past the primaries, or (Oh! May it be so!) a 3rd party candidate that could garner enough support on a national level, then vote for the best choice and get someone in office that isn't "one of them" for a change, and might actually be "one of us!"  If we could just stop letting the powers that be and their right hand, the 5th column -- the media-- keep us divided among ourselves and factioned into micro groups with too many heads, we could get a good man at the helm.  NO ONE wins when we are divided.  Obama only wins because he divides his competition against itself.  It works.  Folks, don't let it happen again. The Libertarians are the worst about this!  That's a main reason I don't associate myself with them.

I will support Rand Paul if he runs, provided no one I like better is running against him.  I will vote for him if he is nominated.  I will vote for a good candidate who has a chance to win.  In the event that we get handed candidates X and Y again, then I will pray for my country, because I don't think there's much hope for a future if things are left in the hands of the ones who are currently in charge, Democrat or Republican.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?

I haven't abandoned my blog.  I'm just struggling with some issues... personal discipline issues more than anything.  I keep letting time go by.  I'm not typically a time waster.  Ugh. I'm so lazy and unmotivated lately.  My own disorganized mind would be bad enough of a mess right now, but it also seems like I am constantly at the mercy of someone else's plans, time clock,  decisions or lack thereof...  I  can't make a decision or do anything or go any where or try anything or set any thing in motion.  It's been that way for years.  I feel hog tied and hamstrung, and I'm sort of watching myself slip away and not even trying very hard lately to stop it.  That's unacceptable.  Basically, that's just a lame excuse for getting "out of the groove", BUT, I'm the type to jerk myself up by the bootstraps. I'm never down for long.

I need to come in and post a follow up on the lighting situation, and I will, I promise, but that means I probably should go get another fixture and install it.  I have good enough info about it already to probably make a decision and let you know what I came to, but I still want to try one more thing.  We'll see.   I need to any way.

I also need to try my hand at some plumbing in the kitchen and blog a little about that.  Living small like we do makes things pretty accessible and I think I can take care of this stuff, no problem.  The biggest problem is having a relatively large section of the house out of commission while I do it.

I have a couple of far more serious structural issues, too, and I may go into a big fix, or I may just figure out how to patch and reinforce it.  I don't want to cut corners or half do it, but if a good patch job is as effective and durable as a big overhaul, I'm all for the patch.

I'll be back...

(photo credit)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Not Exactly a Rant...

As sort of a response to an attack where I was (wrongly) venomously and with damnation, accused of being a republican, (gasp!) I have to ask, were you judging me?  Were you stereotyping me?  No!  Say it ain't so!  Such tolerant folk wouldn't be a party to such hatefulness, would they?

Guess what?  EVERYONE is stereotyped.  Always have been; always will be.  Tattoos, clothing, skin color, neighborhood, gender, dye job, political party... the data input is analyzed and filed in the appropriate folder.  I'm so sick of hearing, "Don't judge me," that I could puke.  The same people puff their chests out and say, "Represent!" like it's a battle cry, then they tell me not to judge when I draw conclusions based on their representation.  Do you even know what you mean? Don't judge me? Really?

Of course you're being judged!  Of course you're judging me!  It's called "assessment," not judgement, and it's automatic.  Feel free to talk to me for a while so you can form your very own, personal, stereotypical assessment of me.  If my convictions on a subject are strong, then say or think what you will; it's no skin off my teeth.  I'm a big girl, I can take it.  If I'm concerned at all that your judgement of me is incorrect, I'll assess it again myself and I'll alter my presentation accordingly if I need to.  If your opinion matters enough to me, and if I assess that you're perceptive enough for me to have a meaningful conversation with, perhaps we can talk again.

I represent.  I am a representative.  It's the mark I make on people, for good or for bad, for right or for wrong.  I'm confident, my convictions are sure, and you and your short-sighted and sophmoric hysterics don't bother me.  Now, grow up and live with it, for crying out loud!  Or don't.  Your problem.

We are all representatives, like it or not, so first off, arm yourself well with some education, understanding and intelligent arguments, because at the end of the day I don't really care how you FEEEEEL. Secondly, represent well and intentionally.  If you don't appear to mean what you say or know what you mean, how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously?  I don't want to hear your quotes and party line and have you cuss me when you're ignorance traps you in a corner searching frantically over your script for the proper reaction.

Finally, have the hair to stand up for it if you believe it!  I want to see confidence of conviction!  You can't fake confidence, it only makes you come across as obnoxious.  If all you have is assimilated ideology and feeeeelings, and you don't have confidence or convictions, you should probably keep that hole below your nose from letting off gas. If you can do that at least then if we disagree I can walk away with some respect for you.

I know what I represent, do you?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Has Sprung!

It is full blown, undeniably springtime in my little speck of Texas!  I know, most people have their own springtime, so what's the big deal?  It's because I am just fresh out of the desert, and it's like I'm seeing spring for the first time all over again! Sure, the desert has springtime, and sure, long-timers there recognize and love it just the same, but I was never a bona fide desert girl.  I was mid-western born and raised, and it's just a different kind of a springtime altogether.  Lovely.  Lovely!

Some of the indigenous hardwood trees, I think maybe a variety of elm, started leafing out some time back and are taking on deeper, more summery green tones already.  Several other varieties have since begun to follow suit, but are still a fresh, bright yellow-green.  There are some trees that are so completely covered in tiny new leaves that they almost look fuzzy from a distance! There are still a few bare trees.  The pecan trees seem to be dragging up the rear for the spring parade, although as I look more closely, they are getting small little leaves now, too.  In and among them all stand various dark green and bluish-green pines and spruce trees that held down the fort through the winter months.  The contrasts are amazing.  There are so many different colors of green!  It's all amazing!

Every so often, tucked into the midst of the other trees, there stands a flowering tree or two.  Red-buds stand out with pinkish-lavender flowers, others, maybe fruit trees, with white or pink flowers, and still others with brighter reds and oranges tucked in low underneath.  There are bluebells all over the place and I've seen some fuchsia flowers of some kind in such dense mats that they almost look like a solid mass.   All along the roadsides and in the open fields there are wildflowers that are maybe as high as your thigh, covered in bright yellow blooms.  If you cast your eyes about it looks almost like someone with a paint brush took the time to tip each and every twig with it's own fresh batch and specially blended color.  All of this with a backdrop one minute of happy, sunny blue and the next minute of an exciting and unpredictable gray.
(I'll try to stop and get some pics of the local flowers soon.)

The smells are impossible to describe.  When I moved here last July, for the first month or so I honestly thought someone nearby had found a wonderful brand of dryer sheet and the wind was bringing it to my window.  Seriously, I did.  As time passed I realized it just smells good here!  How can that be?  If that wasn't enough, it seems that it's possible that it was merely the remnants of the springtime just passed.  The smell here this spring is beautiful, fresh, pretty, "plantish'.  HAHA!  How do you describe that?  Lovely.   Lovely!  (photo credit)

I wake up every morning to the sounds of birds: not a few,  not a few dozen, either, but multitudes of birds!   I thought something was wrong to begin with.   I know, that's ridiculous, but I did!  I hadn't heard anything like that in many, many years if I ever had.  Hundreds of birds hollering "Hey" back and forth to each other, I guess, signalling where the left over pecans from last fall are lying.  When I first heard them I thought they were a harbinger for a storm or an earthquake!  It made me think of an old, scary Hitchcock film!  It took me a while to realize it's a spring thing, and it's beautiful!  One flew into the glass on my window just as the sun was coming up, poor thing.  He got up and  staggered away, or swaggered away, or whatever a stunned bird does when he flies off.

The crickets are cricking, the bees are being, the snakes are probably snaking by now as well.  No matter the fickle weather and temperatures, it is definitely springtime.  I'm wringing every possible drop of enjoyment out of it.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." Eccl 3:1

Thursday, March 21, 2013

For the Price of an Airline Ticket

I recently read some more ridiculous stories about the unholy escapades of the TSA.  So many of the people who comment on these stories says that they would never allow that to happen to them, but statistics, and more to the point, results, say differently.  We do what “must be done” in the airports of our nation because we are not willing to compromise our comfortable lifestyles one iota in order to stop these hirelings, who follow unconstitutional laws, from invading our persons.  It might make us late.  It might even get us detained.  We’d better just “go along.”

When this started we were outraged!  I'll never do that!  I'll never let that happen to my wife, child, grandma, etc...!  But they instituted it over a busy holiday season after everyone had already purchased their tickets home, and so, they caved in, sold their rights for the price of an airline ticket.  

We said, “How long before it is trains or buses?” and now it is trains and buses.  How long now before it is freeways?   It has begun:  The land of intrusive checkpoints.  The 4th amendment is no more.  We gave it up when we decided to subject ourselves and our children to unlawful search and seizure.   We allowed it, and they encroached a little more and a little more, until they got it all.  They know that when you will sell your personal space, your modesty, the privacy of your very body, AND THAT OF YOUR CHILD, you have nothing left that is beyond their reach.

But we allow it.  We don't want to waste the purchase price of the ticket.  We don’t want to be inconvenienced.   We don't want to be late for work or some event.  We don't want to lose an extra day's pay for the time it would take to drive.  We don't want to endure the day long trip in a car with a fussy toddler or an incontinent old person.  We don't want to cut into our vacation time.  So we sell our freedom and we sell our countrymen out in the process, all for the price of an airline ticket.

As I mentioned, they instituted this infringement on us during the busiest travel holiday of the year.  They KNEW that once people had set a vacation plan and bought a ticket that they would do whatever was told them on the day of the trip, telling themselves in their minds, “Well, it’s wrong, and I’ll oppose it later, when I have time and not so much at stake.”  They knew.  And they knew once the people allowed this violation that all their prior resolve would be gone.  They knew they could continue and advance to greater levels.  They knew that they could aggressively invade a few here and a few more there, but that the vast majority would not be “overly inconvenienced” and would therefore remain silent. 

Soon it will be all of us.  ALL will be subject to the government’s search and seizure, whenever and wherever they choose.

We have to be willing to sacrifice some of our conveniences.  I just don't fly.  They will do what they will, and I don’t want to participate in any of it.  I'll sacrifice time, a few hours on the paycheck and a little comfort, and allow extra time to take a different means of transportation.  I am by no means a frequent flyer, so that is the best solution for me.   If I choose to fly at some point, I have to be willing to stand for my rights as a free citizen and face the consequences. 

Sadly, my little piece of the pie being absent from the pie isn’t hurting the whole pie much.  It’s the frequent fliers who need to be forcing their hand.   Unfortunately, they are also the most impacted, the ones most likely to suffer consequences, and the least likely to rebel against it.  They are empowering the TSA and the powers that be to successfully violate the public at will. 

So what do we do? I don’t have a great and final answer.  My best answer is, don’t be worn down.  They are counting on Americans either getting used to it or being worn down to the point that we don’t fight it.  I'm sad to say, I think we may be to a point where it could take some heinous action on the part of TSA or some affiliate agency to cause civil unrest on a scale big enough to affect change.  It could come in a less than pleasant way.  Our culture has grown so fat and lazy that to actually have to sacrifice or fight for a cause that's not for our own personal gain has become distasteful to us.  We'll have to have something happen that will override the selfishness and laziness enough to jolt us into action.  I hate to think of what it could be,  I really do.

Just do not be worn down.   "Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9  Above all, pray.  Only God can sort this out and bring leaders to the forefront.  We need Him.

(photo credit)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How can you not see it?

Brainwashing.  Look what our tax dollar funded, public indoctrination centers are doing to our precious children.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Projects Underway

I'm going to be more irregular than usual in here for a little while.  I'm starting work on a book, and I am probably going to be spending my writing time on it instead of my blog until I get used to the new pace of things.  I'll be in and out.   :)  I have an update on the lighting thing I'm going to want to do soon, and I'm chatty enough that I'm sure I'll be poking my nose in just to say howdy, but if I'm a bit farther between entries for a while, that's why.  See ya soon.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Beautiful Weather to Be Outside

We took a spontaneous little trip to our local park yesterday.  No real reason... just to blow the cobwebs out of my head, I guess.  It turned out to be such a nice time!

Spring is definitely springing here.  I didn't check the weather,  but I'd guess it was 75-ish and blue skies, light breeze.  Perfect weather!  It looked like the park folk had just recently planted the pansies.  They were pretty, and in boom, but they were still small:  6-pack sized.  :)  The daffodils and whatnot were up all over the place.  
This little marker was at the beginning of a hiking trail. We intended to follow the trail all the way around, but we decided to check out the creek, and that's as far as we made it.

I could go to a place like this and spend all day.  One day I will live in a place like this.  It was so quiet and the trees arched overhead so that we felt like we had gone into our own private little area.  I looked around later and saw that, unfortunately, there was a lot of trash laying around, so I doubt that we had discovered any wonderful place for quiet time, but at least for today it was ours.  :)

I suppose the trash could have washed in from other places.  We had a couple of heavy rains recently, and you could tell by the way things looked that it had washed through the creek bottom in big gushes and then just recently subsided.  I think this creek all but dries up in the heat of the summer, but I'm still too new here to know the habits of things.  Anyway, it was beautiful.  I was so excited to be there I didn't notice the trash, really, until we were getting ready to leave.  I  swear, I'd have cleaned some of it up if it hadn't gotten so late already.  My husband always cleans up his camp spot better than when he got to it.  I guess it's rubbed off on me so much I can't even visit a park without trying to straighten things up.  (If he were here he wouldn't let me get away with saying it's his idea.  I can't leave ANYTHING without  tidying it up.  LONG story, different blog.)

 My buddy.  He like places like this as much as I do.

Yeah, that would be me, goofing off.  I almost goofed right off the ledge!

Oop!  I got my finger in the corner of this one.  :p  I just thought it was a beautiful tree.   Things are starting to leaf out on lots of the indigenous trees, but this one was just standing stark, stretching it's old bones before the onset of summer, I guess.

I think next time I get a wild hair to take off on a trip I'll just pack a lunch and make everybody go.  They'd all say they are busy and don't want to, but they would have enjoyed it.

I'm new here, and this is a BIG state.  There are so many places around here to go!  I'm going to start hitting them on weekends, I think.

One final picture:  We went to the shooting range in Weatherford Monday.  My youngest LOVES shooting, so I am throwing in a picture of his target.  He's a good shot!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Finding room for your stuff: Part 4 - The Kitchen

I've seen it worse.

I considered long and hard about what is the hardest thing to adjust to when scaling our lives and space back as drastically as we have. It wasn't too hard of a decision, really, to narrow it down to two things.  It was a little bit harder to choose between the two finalists, but not much.  I determined the number one most difficult adjustments, as I wrote in an earlier blog, was laundry, because, really, after all this time, I haven't adjusted, and it seems it will take extra measures at some point to make it possible to live with.

The runner up, and actually not a real close second, is the kitchen.  The reason it didn't really come in first is because so much of what I do in the kitchen can be done in different ways, or can be done outdoors without constructing any additional structures or anything. It can be tricky, even difficult, but I'm not opposed to doing things just because they are tricky or difficult.  It is doable, so I'll do it.  I may make better arrangements one day, adapting and shuffling as I go, but life can go on and be enjoyable and pleasant with things the way they are.

The main problem with my kitchen is that there's very, very little counter top space.  With just my husband and myself this might be less of an issue, but with four of us, all the cooking, and cleaning of the dirty dishes and whatnot, it's a constant job to find space to do everyday things.  For example, I needed to cut up some potatoes, and I couldn't find a flat place to big enough lay the cutting board, so I let it slightly overlap the sink's edge.  Naturally it rocked back and forth.  No huge deal, but then I needed to roll dough.  Again, no sweat.  I'll just do it on the kitchen table after I move all the stuff off.  None of this sounds like a lot of trouble until you remember it's a dance I do at every meal, every day, all the time.

If I need to bake, I have to take all of my iron ware out of the oven first, because it's the storage place for my skillets and my waffle iron and one of my smaller dutch ovens.  I can stack them in the floor near the pantry and continue on about my baking business.  If I have an extra dish to prepare for a meal I'll have to cook part of it outside.  I love cooking outside,  really, but the accommodations here are such that I have to set up and take down all of my equipment every time I use it, so it's pretty inconvenient.  Like I said, inconvenience isn't a deal breaker, I'm just pointing out the issues I face living in a tiny house.  Do with it what you will.

I can't stow my loaf of bread in the pantry because it would probably get smooshed, so I typically leave it on the counter top.  The butter stays near the stove top.   The dish drying rack is behind the sink, a couple of frequently used canisters sit in available space near the drain rack, and there's a spot on the side where I keep my bills and receipts and the like.  If I move the bread, butter, two of the small canisters and the ever present cups of coffee and glasses of water, I can muster about a square foot of open space.  For reference, that's enough for a small crock pot, not enough for a standard cutting board or decent electric skillet.

The refrigerator is a real issue.  It's an R.V. model that runs on LP gas or electricity.  It's not necessarily small for an RV, but it's small compared to what I was used to. There's no space for anything extra. What I mean by extra is, let's say I get a smokin' deal on milk at the grocery store.  I  can't buy an extra because two won't fit in there unless I get rid of something else first.  I keep almond milk and  juice in there, but NOT if I plan to keep kombucha or iced tea.

Also, at least for me and my refrigerator, I can't seem to find the happy medium on temperature.  Either things are thawing in the freezer or freezing in the refrigerator.  Most things in the fridge part I can shuffle around, because it doesn't matter to me if the butter or a package of meat is partially frozen.  It is more difficult to store any fresh produce like lettuce or spinach, though, because it seems like it freezes no matter where I put it unless I can stuff it into a place on the door.

Then there's the freezer.  Frozen juice is generally not frozen solid.  We don't eat much ice cream, but if I buy it, we have to eat it all quickly because it won't stay frozen long.  The whole freezer compartment, except for the door, ices up so I have to defrost it periodically.  That's not a bad job and it insured that I use up food that may have gotten stuffed back into the back and forgotten.

Forget about freezer space.  I don't want to talk about it.  ;)

Over time I have learned that if I don't have the space I just don't keep the stuff.  That's the truth for everything in our house.  We are adjusting to that.  When I go awhile without the stuff, I realize that, really, I don't need it anyway.  It's really very liberating physically and mentally.  There's just so much less maintenance and responsibility when you have less stuff.  It frees up my time for better things.  I could do with less than I have, but I've either decided I don't want to or else I haven't decided what I want to do with it if I don't keep it here.

Not here?  Yes, I have an off-site stash.  Some of you know that we are planning on settling into our own acreage soon, and when I do I'll no doubt make accommodations for some of our things when we get there.  I have a small cargo trailer that we are using kind of like a storage.  We have some of our things in it that we can't use here, certainly can't store here, and I'm not willing to part with, knowing that we will indeed be using them later.  For instance, we have a lot of tools. books, extra bedding, lawn and garden stuff, lots of things we collected and stowed with our new property in mind, but can not possible keep with us here.  I'm sure I'll be thinning those things out once I open it back up and go through it.  I packed all of that when  I first moved into our small house, and my idea of what needed to stay and what needed to go has changed a lot since than.

If I come across any other issues that are space related I'll add a part five, but I think that these last four posts sort of cover it, at least for me.  I'm sure different people with different priorities would take issue with the small closet space or lack of any wall space for pictures or even a calendar, but you will figure out your own issues.  I'm just hoping to give people who want to get away from the "rat race" by living smaller,  a little heads up on some of the areas I found to be the most challenging.

So there you have it!  I hope it didn't sound like I was complaining.  I certainly didn't mean for it to, because I love it!  It's just different and takes some time and an open mind to adjust and settle into a new normal.  In all honesty there are times when I miss a nightstand or a place to lay my glasses.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Now THIS One's Really Crazy!

Well, here we go again...
More anti-gun hysteria leads to school lock down.

Let's make sure our children are accustomed to being locked down by authorities and used to frequent, strong police presence.  The author of this article quite correctly points out, "The more incidents like that that happen, the greater the chance that a real threat will be missed."  I still think it's the authorities that are the biggest threat.

Sharing a Wonderful Blog

If you aren't already familiar with it, I would like to introduce you to a wonderful blog.  It's called Rural Revolution.  It's the blog site of freelance writer Patrice Lewis, who has written some wonderful books including her self-sufficiency series, which I love, and The Simplicity Primer.  I haven't gotten The Simplicity Primer yet, but it was a big seller and everyone I talked to said it was her best, and sure to become the standard for books in it's genre.  If you are thinking her name seems familiar, it may be because she is also a regular contributor at WND.

I took this from her blog; it is what she says of herself:

"We do what I jokingly call the Three H’s: Homesteading, Homeschooling, and Home Business-ing.  What this means is that we are striving to grow or raise our own food on our forty-acre farm in north Idaho; we are educating our own children; and we have a home craft business that has provided our income for the past fifteen years.
Our unique lifestyle has given me the interest and capacity to write on the above subjects with some degree of confidence."

Go on over and check out her blog site.  She has the most practical way of looking at things and is truly a breath of fresh air.  Poke around a little.  Subscribe to her feed.  I'm telling you, I subscribe to so many blogs it's ridiculous, so many I can almost never read them all, but I seldom fail to read hers.  She's so warm and friendly that she feels like family.

I recommend all of her writing, but since I've been on a bit of a tear lately about the public school system, I wanted to share this particular blog post: One-Hundred Reasons.  Please, go over and read it, and feel free to pass this around to all your friends who have kids in school.  As you know, I consider the indoctrinating of our children to be the key issue, the one the media is constantly steering us away from by diverting our attention towards things that are ever so pressing, pressing, pressing!  Please, head on over.  Link to her, Facebook it, whatever you can do.  I believe time is running out.

Pop Tart Free Zone

I sure wish I had wider readership when I come across something like this.  It NEEDS to be seen.  Have I not been saying that all the news stories about the catastrophes du jour are trying to divert our attention from what's going on in the public schools?  I believe in standing up for our rights and making our voices heard, but shouldn't we be putting the ax to the root instead of constantly cutting the suckers?  Throw all the fits you want about the current push for bad legislation, but when the next generation is in a position to make changes, we are not going to like the changes they make.  We HAVE TO stop public education (read: government indoctrination) before it's too late. 

What is it this time?  Guns again.  Real guns?  Of course not.  Toy guns?  Not even.  Playing bang-bang with a stick?  Water pistols?  Bubble guns?  Pictures of guns?  Nope.  A pop tart.

7-Year-Old Joshua was suspended this morning from Park Elementary School in Brooklyn Park. Joshua says he was eating a pastry during snack time and trying to shape it into a mountain, the teacher said it looked like a gun and took him to the principal's office. Joshua's parents were called, he has been suspended for two days. Joshua's father says it's ridiculous since no one was threatened or harmed by the pastry. A letter will be going home to all students of Park Elementary School this afternoon. School officials declined to comment due to privacy issues.
Puh-leeze!!  So you still don't think there's an agenda in the public school system to make our children hate and fear firearms? Can you think of any other reason that this and literally COUNTLESS other ridiculous incidents like this are occurring every day in public (government) schools?

Do you ever wonder what other subversive things they could possibly be teaching them?

(Photo Credit)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Finding Room For Your Stuff: Part 3 - Multi-Functionality

Some people might not have to concern themselves with some of what I write in today's blog post.  It depends on how much space you have, how many occupants, how much stuff each occupant requires, and on and on.  When inches matter,  literally inches, the more you can do with the inches you have, the better.

Our place is a travel trailer.  We have around three-hundred and forty square feet of room under the roof.  That includes space for beds, tables, closets, bathroom: everything.  We have four people living in that same relatively small area, as well as our medium sized dog.  There is one bathroom and one bedroom.  The shower and bathroom sink are in the bedroom, and the toilet is in there, too, but it's in it's own little enclosure. It's all sort of one room with dividers for privacy.  The rest of the house, living room, kitchen, dining and the kid's areas are also basically in one room separated from the bedroom part by a pocket door.

It sounds crowded, and to be honest, I guess it really is, but we have learned to deal well with it.  I read where people live in one hundred square feet.  Unless they live alone, I can't imagine how they do it.  I have done some pretty interesting things to make things fit and to keep things functional, but I can't see how I would do it any smaller.  For now, let me tell you about a few things we've done that have helped us settle in.

To start with, we gave up on the notion that we could keep everything in the trailer the way it was to begin with. They arrange things nicely, and they utilize just about every free bit of space to it's maximum capacity while still allowing for it to feel like a "home."  They generally don't manufacture them to be lived in full time.  Although they do have certain models that take that into consideration, generally they are not made to be occupied by very many people for very long.

As soon as we moved in we gave up the space that was designated for an extra living room chair.  I got a great deal on a sturdy set of metal shelves and I got some decent totes and baskets that fit into it nicely and we put it in that corner. It is my son's chest of drawers, the stash for videos, some books, miscellaneous electronic components, pantry item overflow, dog items, coat rack, and general catch all for frequently used items.

We had a small bookcase that fits neatly beside the couch in the little offset area created when the slide is out.  Our homeschool and office supplies, books, art supplies and things of that sort are in there along with the kid's video games.  The TV and game decks, all that stuff is in a cabinet that was built into the corner for that purpose.  The kid's sleeping areas both have small areas underneath and overhead where the boys can stash their personal things.  They have a small closet to hang clothes, but  younger boy still has some toys, so we gave him a toy box in their closet floor.  A small plastic-type set of drawers is also in that closet for the younger boy's folded clothes.  The shelf in that closet is for towels and the rest of their clothes.

Our room is designed for storage.   It has  big closet with a sturdy shelf and a built in "dresser" with a counter top, and then overhead cabinets.  If we are living in this trailer much longer, I'm going to take the lower dresser drawers out in favor of some shelves and put doors on them. The drawers are just not a good use of space.  They are very small and there's clearly twice that much available room in there if I can clear out the dividers and rails and whatnot and just add a shelf or maybe two.  I think some fancy shelves that pull out on rollers would be great!

There's a lot of storage under our bed. We have lots of our outdoor gear, coats, heavy stuff like that, and some bulky items down there.  We have small overhead storage over the bed, too.  That's where I keep a couple of books, my Bible, a crochet hook and yarn that I have barely touched, and other things that most people have on their nightstand.

Even with all the pre-planned functionality of the living spaces, each area of the house has a dual purpose as well, with the exception of the bathroom.  The kitchen is just a busy area.   I think anyone's kitchen is.  I don't know if that would be multi-functional or just constantly functioning, but it's definitely a frequently occupied area.

The living room area transforms into sleeping areas at night.  It takes about 10 minutes to transform them from one to the other if I can keep the kids on task and stop them from goofing off.  The couch lays flat and the dinette lowers down.  Both are roomier than I would have expected and a lot more comfortable than they looked like they would be.

The dog sleeps with whoever doesn't kick her off.  :)

In the day time we sort of situated ourselves into our own little spots.  We gravitated to these places early on, and kind of adopted them as our own.  They are rather like office cubicles or something.  I have my space at the kitchen table where I set up my computer, my books, coffee cup and glasses, my phone and whatever else I'm going to be using.  When my husband is not home, my younger son sets his stuff up across from me at the table.  When my husband is home, he sits across from me and my son has a portable table and chair arrangement he can use for his computer or his school work.

The older boy has his area on the end of the couch where he sleeps, and up near the bookcase.  He has a section of a shelf there where he keeps some personal things like his phone and his iPod and whatnot. He has a folding table that he sets his computer up on.  It folds up flat at night and his computer goes under the couch where his bedding resides during the daytime.

These little folding tables are possibly the unsung heroes of the house.  We grumble about them when they're sitting in the way, but they are used daily, and for many odd jobs.  Besides being make-do desks, they are dinner tables for the kids. It sounds bad, like they sit off away from us at dinner, losing the wonderful family dynamic and all that, but you must understand, the seating arrangements in the whole room aren't spread out much more than most people are at their dinner table.  It works for us.  It is the best arrangement.

My husband and I have the big bed in our own room, obviously, but it doubles as a quiet area in the day time.  If anyone just has to have a nap, if a class requires reading or some serious concentration, or for a little bit of extra quiet for telephone conversations, that's where we go.  Take a folding table if you need one!

The trick is to be organized. That may be intimidating for some who might think they are not that organized, but you might surprise yourself.  I never really thought I was particularly organized, either. It just happens in the course of settling in.  You have to be, so you just start seeing where things have to go and how they have to be arranged and maintained.

I'm sorry, I realize this is sort of a choppy blog.  I just wanted to tell how we all fit into things and fit things in.

I'll have to blog about thinning out personal belongings at some point.  It's a necessary thing.  I'm not talking about being a minimalist or anything. If that's your bag you're one step ahead of the game.  Good on ya. I'm just saying, if you're planning on living smaller you're going to have to thin out what you own.  I won't try to kid you; it's hard, but it's very liberating.  For now, that's it!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Finding Room For Your Stuff :Part 2 - The Bane of My Existence

Lehman's Best Hand Wringer
Oh, I so want that wringer!

Remember in my last post I said I was going to talk about the thing that has been the biggest inconvenience?  It's seemingly an unsolvable situation at this point, and it causes me problems every day.  It cramps cramped spaces, you don't ever adjust and learn to deal with it differently, it can't be overlooked, it doesn't get better over time, in fact, it gets worse, and it's unavoidable.  What could it be that is so hard to deal with?  Well, here it is:  Laundry.

I can tell you, having lived in small surroundings for about a year and a half now, I have had ample time to know which issues matter, at least to me.  When we get ready to build a house, there are a few very important things that I have discovered I will need, and at the top of that list is a place to deal with the laundry.  

In the year and a half we've lived here, we have adjusted to much: 
  • Narrow bathroom and shower: for the most part we've adjusted. 
  • Less space for personal belongings: getting there and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Hand washing dishes: no problem at all. 
  • Low counter space: not great, but doable. 
  • Tiny fridge: I can do it if I must.
  • Sleeping arrangements: mastered.
  • Laundry... laundry... laundry...?
The laundry!  This laundry situation is something at the top of my list of problems to remedy.  It's "in your face" and constant.  If you are planning on living smaller, consider this matter at length.  I can't stress enough what a pain it is.

It’s a HUGE issue in our home for two reasons.  First: The dirty laundry-- there's no place to put it, absolutely none.  Secondly, I have no laundry facilities (yet!), making the first part of the problem bigger.  It piles up and up and up, right in the way.  So, what do I do?  Nothing.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I have a tote that sits right in the way, smack in the middle of my teeny bathroom floor, blocking the kid's closet door and choking the passage to the bedroom down to nearly nothing..  There just is no place to put it.

I think that once we move I may get a locking bin of some sort for it and sit it outside the door.  It seems the best solution, but I'm not thrilled with it.  Right now we live among other people in a camp ground trailer park, and I really don't want to start piling things up outside out house.  I already put several totes under the back of the trailer and we have a big tool box and a table out there.  It could begin to look pretty tacky pretty fast, and I really don't want to do that.

If that's not exciting enough, I get to corral it all every so often and drag it down to a rather unsavory laundromat, the only one within any reasonable distance, spend way too much time and money there, and come away with 'less than clean' clothes.  Several times I've gotten my clothes out of one of the machines and it had "foreign materials" in it.  Once it was cigarette butts!  I always look inside to be sure it's "safe", so I can't quite figure out how some of this stuff just manifests in there when I'm not looking!  It's gross.  It makes me feel icky all over.

I found a possible temporary solution.  I could buy an all in one, portable washer/dryer unit on wheels.  It drains wash water into the sink and vents the dryer to a window.  The problem is, it's expensive, around a thousand bucks give or take, and, as I understand it, it's not really that great of an alternative.  The reviews for almost all the ones I have seen so far say that they don't do a great job, they take a long time to complete a cycle, they have bad customer service, on and on.  Since it's expensive, I know me; I probably won't shell out the cash for something like that.  I'll make do until I have room to do things right.   

Once we move to our land 
I am considering building a shed or a small cabin, calling it a wash house and equipping it with sinks, drying racks, hanging bars, a folding table and a dirty laundry bin or two.  When I was a kid, we had a laundry chute that sent the clothes straight to a bin right next to the washer.  Maybe I'll come up with something like that.  Maybe I'll add a bathroom to the thing and it can be an addition to our main living quarters.  Who knows, but I will certainly be making it a priority to have some kind of laundry facilities.  

I bought a few things so I can hand wash my clothes.  Ideally, I'd like to get a double sink with a wringer, or, oh heavenly day, a hand operated washer like the ones sold at Lehman's.  That, a clothes line and a couple of nice drying racks for rainy days and I'm good to go.  I'm going to do all of that when I get to my own property.  Meanwhile I guess we keep kicking laundry out of the way and gathering it all up to haul it to the Laundorama.

Next time, I plan to talk about something else that's in the running for most difficult issues when living in a tiny house, second only to the laundry.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finding Room For Your Stuff

Very quickly, I wanted to throw in a blog that's actually on topic for what I claim the topic of this blog is supposed to be: Smaller Living.  Today it's about the need for space that you didn't plan for.  I'll try to keep it short.

Where does your trash can go?  What about your dirty laundry?  What do you do with the forty-eight extra rolls of toilet papers you bought when they were on sale?  What about that twenty-five pound bag of dog food?  In a "regular house" even if it is considered on the market to be a smaller home, there is generally room for some these things, but in a tiny home you can't be so sure of that.  You almost can't know until you get moved in and try 'er out what exactly you are going to need extra space for, but extra space is at a premium, and you can bet you're going to be needing it.

The next couple or three blogs are going to be about my solutions to some of these problems.  Mind you, they're not perfect solutions and they are subject to change, and I'm wide open for any good suggestions.

#1 - Where does the trash can go?

This seems like a minor issue on the surface, but that's because your trash can right now has a place and isn't bugging you by being there.  At our old house the trash sat beside an end cabinet.  Many people keep them under the kitchen sink.  I looked for all the solutions, but in our case there was only one: under the sink.  Unfortunately, under the sink is prime real estate for pots and pans as well as cleaning products, trash bag, bug spray, dish soap, scrubbies and those sorts of things.   Like a lot of travel trailers, the area under the sink is kind of "joint storage" which is accessible from outside.  My husband has the trailer hitch and the awning stuff poked up in there, and I stuffed the nut picker in there because it's handier for me from the outside, too.  Of course the plumbing to the sink takes up some precious space as well, so, nope, I can't use that space to house a trash can.  So where is it?

It sits -- out.  My trash can just sits out for all the world to see.  I leave it in front of the least used cabinet and I slide it around from place to place with my foot when I'm working in the kitchen area.  I got a small basket and we empty it every day.  When we move to our own property I will keep a large trash can with a lid for the outside, but for right now we are in a camp ground trailer park and we have a dumpster handy.

#2 - What do I do about food storage?

I have several cabinets that could be used for many, many purposes, but I chose to empty them and use them as a pantry.  We like to keep a decent amount of food storage for emergencies, and we don't consider this an option.  Food is probably the hardest thing to store because it requires extra care and because you can be sure to need access more often than just about any other storage area you are going to use.

The first thing I can, and must, do is keep it organized at all times.  In small spaces, the slightest disorganization can cause chaos.  I make it a point to arrange the shelves often.  They are used a lot, things are shuffled around frequently, and things get stuffed and shoved and knocked around all the time.  I have to get in there every couple of days and tidy things up.  It's no big deal and not too time consuming, but it is an absolute necessity to maximize space.

Despite the fact that I allowed so much storage to go into pantry space, it's still barely enough, and not nearly as much as I had or would like or need.  I have made some interesting arrangements to accommodate the excess.  Some food is not going to be used right away and is packaged in such a way, or can be repackaged in such a way as to make them good candidates for outdoor storage. I chose to take some of my canned goods, staple items, condiments, bulk items and the like, and put them in storage totes.  I put them outside, under my trailer, out of the sun and elements. I put the totes up on supports, just in case, so that they won't ever be sitting in rain water.  They are readily accessible, but out of the way.  I had some cheap totes to begin with, but I've been replacing them all with more durable ones.  The outdoor weather and temperature changes will effect the integrity of the plastic and I don't want to run that risk with my foodstuffs.

I did the same with a few pots and pans and other household items once I realized how well it worked.  I don't use every single pan every single day, so why not store some of the ones I'm not using so often?  I don't want to go nuts and line my whole trailer with totes, but I think having several in the back near my steps is fine. It has helped.  If I were settled on my own property I might have a shed and I could store them there on shelves, but for now, this is working well.

That's it for now.  In the next couple of days or so I'm going to talk a little about the one thing that I have found the hardest to adjust to.  In fact, I haven't adjusted.  It is the bane of my existence.  If I have any advice it is to plan however you must to avoid what I didn't realize I would be dealing with when we made the move into a tiny home.  See you then.

(photo credit)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pick Your Battles

Heritage Middle School in Meridian, Idaho was put into full lock-down mode this week when authorities received a report of an armed suspect in the school.  What, pray tell, was he armed with?  A shovel.  A SHOVEL!   It was a small, folding, military shovel to be precise.  
They asked "the suspect" about it later, and I understand it turned out to be a prop for a school play.  Wow.  Why didn't they just ask him in the first place?  Read on.

On February 5, three schools in Yuma, Arizona were placed on lockdown as the result of what was later described as a “rumor” of a gun on campus. The kids were held in "protective custody" for something like three, some say over four hours by guys in full combat attire.  That's a long time to a kid.  That would be rather traumatic for them, I'd imagine.  Police searched the school and did not find any gun or any suspects.There were no reports of any shots fired or any injuries.  False alarm.  Oopsie!  Read on.

When all the smoke cleared there were no clear answers and just a lot of diversionary dialogue, but notice: the response teams were many, varied, the reports boasted that they were very practiced, they were on the scene in an instant, they were from several different agencies, and none of the parents had a problem with any of this according to reports.  The only problems the media reported that the parents had were with the waiting and not knowing.  

Now, add to this the multitude of stories recently about children as little as pre-school age being ridiculed, punished, suspended, even arrested and charged with crimes for having toy guns, for drawing guns on paper, for having a piece of paper torn into the shape of a gun, for having computer wallpaper with a gun on it, for point a stick like you might point a gun, even for TALKING ABOUT guns. Hearing of school board members, teachers, administrators, even principals losing their jobs for their opposing political viewpoints concerning guns is almost as common. Keep this stuff in mind as you read on.

So, what do I think is next?  Get ready, homeschoolers.  Gird up your loins. Watch homeschooling families suddenly being targeted by the media. Watch for it and remember I said it was coming. They'll ramp up their efforts against us soon because they can't curb a resistance, they can't control everyone, if they aren't all contained in their indoctrination centers.

There will be "example families" in the media who kept their kids home only to "abuse" or "neglect" them. They will skim over even the most horrendous of child abuse cases in the big media if it concerns minority families, urban families, families from "preferred religions, or families whose children attend public school, but the most minor details about children from homeschools will be scrutinized and scandalized, and presented by them as abuse and endangerment, and they will be prosecuted with great ferocity.  They will say they didn't "properly educate" them or perhaps not at all. There will be movies where the homeschool parents are the bad guys and the homeschool kids are weird or ignorant: haters, racists, backwater rednecks, hostile, crazy religious zealots. There will be TV shows that villainize homeschool families. Watch for it.

Why the big deal about the public school system in the face of everything else that's going on, you might wonder?  Of course I see the problems we are having with the socialization of America.  I see our economy circling the drain.  I am aware of foreign debt and disastrous social ills. I know all about how we're losing gun rights and I see the assault on freedom of speech.  I realize the government is whittling away at our liberty, and I could write pages about that, but I tell you, if we don't stop the school system we are done.  They are molding our children into parts of the collective and all those other issues won't matter in ten, or maybe even five years.

No one asked the Idaho suspect anything, suspects weren't even found in the Yuma case.  No one ever turned turned up weapons.  In both instances someone thought they might have seen someone, possibly with a weapon. The immediate response was with the most extreme possible measures being taken first.  You might say that's great!  That’s extra precaution for our kiddies.  I say it's a brazen excuse to make a militarized presence felt among our youngest, most impressionable and malleable little minds and get them comfortable with it.  Vladimir Lenin said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”  He also said, “Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever."   This process has not only begun here in the good ol’ US of A, it’s almost come to fruition.

I'd rather my kids be uneducated than go to a public "school." I would end the public school racket in a heartbeat if it were up to me.  It's a bloated, liberal bureaucracy on the surface, which was bad enough when I thought that's all it was.  Now we can see it is a subversive tool in the hands of an increasingly oppressive government.  They are training our children to be good little citizens.  They are training our children to turn on us. 

Mark 13:12 and Matthew 10:21 in part, say that in the last days children will turn their parents over to be put to death death.  I often wondered in my reading of these passages what could put a wedge between parents and children to such a degree as to cause them to turn one another over to be killed.  Only someone brainwashed, indoctrinated to a high degree of loyalty, would do such a heinous thing.  It's not so hard to imagine now.

Can we stop them?  I don't know.  Pray, friends.  God knows, He cares, and he will keep us through the dark times.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Be a Lover of the Truth

Liars lie.  Why?  Because they are liars.  

Telling a lie doesn't make you a liar.  Being a liar is why you tell lies.  It's part of a persons moral (or immoral) fiber.  You sowed it, you cultivated it, and you reaped what you sowed.  You have to discover the part of your character that has allowed lying to become acceptable and kill that root, or you might as well plan on being a liar forever.

Lying is indicative of disrespect, rebelliousness, and laziness.  How people get to that point has as many routes as there are people, but we are all responsible to deal with it the same way.  Stop it.  Stop lying.  Do not be a liar.

Liars are disrespectful.  They disrespect themselves and others.  If you lie to me it's an immediate sign that you have no respect for me or my time and you place no value on any relationship you might have had with me for whatever time we spend in each other's company.  I'm done trying to communicate with you.  What, exactly, would be the point in it?  Grandad used to say, "A liar's worse than a thief or a murderer.  You can lock your door against a thief and arm yourself against a murderer, but you can't do a thing to stop a liar."  I can't stand a liar.  No one can.

Lying is practicing disrespect for yourself, as well.  You may have convinced yourself that it's alright on some level, but lying is wrong, and no matter who tries to sell this whole bill of goods about moral absolutes being a thing of the past, and situational ethics, "little white lies," blah, blah, blah...  your heart knows you have lied, it knows why, and it also knows that it's not right to do so.  The more you practice something the better you become at it, so, over time as you lie, you become more disrespectable in your own eyes, and eventually, in the eyes of others.  The more you disrespect yourself the easier it is to lie some more, and the viscous cycle has begun.  You have become a liar.  Now you will lie because you are a liar.

It all started back when you were to lazy to tell the truth.  Yes, it's that cut and dried.  Situations, circumstances and players may change, but the underlying cause cause for lying is laziness.  It is actually fear, but unwilling to face the fear,  you take the lazy route.  It would be too uncomfortable to face the possible repercussions of being honest, so you take the lazy way out and lie. You might be embarrassed, ridiculed, judged, criticized, even punished, or maybe you only THINK you might, but it was enough to cause you to abandon truth and stoop to lying, because it will just be, well, easier.

Now your rebellious nature cranks up it's rhetoric to cover, even if it's only in your own head.  You have your reasons.  You can even paint them in such a way as to make them look as if it were the generous, kind or even right thing to do.  You can reason that it spares trouble where it doesn't need to be, or that no one would ever know or care, so why bring it up?  Rebellion that speaks softly, kindly and subtly in the beginning is still rebellion.  Reasons, rationalizations: call them what you will, they are excuses, and excuses do not release your conscience from knowing there is a truth and you chose to lie.  Be careful; rebellion will eventually over ride your conscience if you allow it.

Eventually these lazy liars who lie will become belligerent and flaunt their "rights" in everyone's face.  It's disrespectful to decent people everywhere to put them in a position to have to deal with someone like you.  Decent people in decent society should not have to encounter and possibly be made to confront a blatant liar.  It's very uncomfortable for them.  It's not packaged into the regular guy's manual of how to deal with people to confront someone who can't be held to any ethical standards.  If we confront you, you want proof.  You demand honest accusations to your lie.  Decent people feel the need to supply it.  They feel they can't say anything to you without proof.

*For the record, I do not.  I'll confront you and call you out right now.  Just so ya know.  ;)

It is easy to be a liar when you have compromised your morals.  When you have no commitment to what is true you can excuse a lot.  Commitment is practically a thing of the past.  People can't commit to be at a job on time.   They won't commit to things as important as marriage or parenting, so why would they be expected to commit to being honest where no one will know or see?  The truth can be hidden, stretched, colored, twisted, manipulated, "reinvented" and even screamed over, but eventually everyone has to face it again.  Even a liar.  

After all that you've done and cost yourself, do not lie to your child.  Lying to your children is not only disrespectful, but it forms a foundation that is unfit to build anything stable upon.  All the Dr. Spock-isms and self-esteem building techniques you try are going to fail if you, even you, the parent, don't have enough respect for them to be honest.  No amount of good publicity, no positive reinforcement, no expensive photo-shoot, no counselling session, no gift, no noble excuse making or championing their cause, no good report, no pharmaceutical, no compliment, nor any new thing dreamed up to bolster the little feller's self image is going to help your precious child live a full and confident life if you don't have the hair on your back to be honest with him.  It's all only going to serve to make him selfish, spoiled and obnoxious, and still remain unfulfilled and unstable.

Stop.  Stop now.  You may be laying low, keeping quiet, suffering alone  You may have broken trust with everyone you know.  You may be famous for being a liar.  You may not have another soul in your corner anymore, but it isn't too late.  There is first and foremost forgiveness in Jesus, and secondly, He can help you turn it around.  He can make things better, in fact, abundantly above all that you could have asked or thought would ever come out of the mess you made.  You can be known as the most honest person in town.  You could be recognized as everyone's go to guy.  You just have to find it in yourself to make one commitment.  Just one:

Be a lover of the truth.

A lover of the truth does not have a problem with lies.  Be honest .  Tell the truth on purpose.  Make commitments on purpose.  Keep your word on purpose.  Don't take the lazy road out when the pressure comes.  Develop and cultivate honor.  Honor is part of who you are, it's a character trait, part of your moral fiber, not just a thing you do.
Be a lover of the truth.


"People hate the truth. Luckily, the truth doesn't care."