“Sloth is far more than indolence, physical laziness or a state of couch-potato lethargy (“nearer, my couch to thee,” as the new york times healined it). It is a condition of explicityly spiritual dejection that has given up on the pursuit of God, the trut, the good, and the beautiful. – trinity forum
For those of you who are following my blog, I am moving on. Treemonkeytalk was created when I lived in San Francisco and in a different time in my life. I kept it alive on and off for the past 5 years but it is time to move into my new permanent life. I was married 3 years ago (a week from Friday,May 31) and so I have created a new blog and website with just my name. I have moved my most recent posts over and will try to be more diligent on posting. As a stay-at-home mom, I need an outlet and find that I want to be less and less on Facebook.
So if you want to stay tuned to our “life on the “almost” ranch”, follow along at http://www.JanaShows.com
Thanks so much!
Like many others, I have decided to jump on the bandwagon and make my own laundry detergent. After consulting friends for their recipes and the internet, I have come up with a consensus for what the best recipe is and then combined tips along the way. Hopefully, this will be a one stop shop for your DIY needs.
I picked up the washing soda at my local HEB, the borax at Target, and the Zote at Big Lots. Each of the boxes are in the mid $3 range and the soap was $.90. I have been told that these are all available at most Wal-Marts. (I try to avoid that place like the plague. Although, I can’t be too judgmental because I was a four star cashier in high school at my local Wal-mart.)
First, grate the bar of soap. Don’t put the grater in your dishwasher or you’ll have a big surprise all over the floor.
Use a ratio of 1:1:2 (washing soda: borax: graded zote). Then measure the washing soda and borax and add to food processor. Add the grated soap last so that your processor doesn’t get all gummy. I put 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups Borax and 4 cups of zote at a time in the food processor. Blend for 30 seconds or so until the soap turns to very small granules like pictured below.
Use 1 to 2 tablespoons for each load of laundry.
I made almost a half a gallon for about $5. Half a gallon has 128 tablespoons.
Ingredients: Borax is made of sodium tetraborate which is a mineral. Washing Soda is 100% sodium carbonate (Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate which is totally different). Zote is sodium tallowate (beef tallow), sodium cocoate (coconut oil), citronella oil, optical brighteners and dye (for blue or pink bars).
I am working on trying to get some beef tallow to make my own soap. Stay tuned…
The book, Freefall to Fly: A Breathtaking Journey Toward a Life of Meaning by Rebekah Lyons was just released this month. It was a quick and easy read. I bought it for a few reasons: the author is a mom who is struggling to find meaning in life, she battled(s) depression, and she has a down syndrome child.
When I lived in San Francisco, I spent a great deal of time teaching motor skills and language therapy to a down syndrome little boy. When we first met, he was out of control in both physically and verbally. When I was approached and asked to teach him, I was shocked. Honestly, I wanted to say no. But something inside me decided to give it a try. It was hard at first but we had many break throughs including getting him to use the potty for the first time at age 5. It ended up being terribly rewarding. We became great buddies and when it was time to move on with my life, I cried. There will always be a place in my heart for that little guy.
Fast forward four years: During an ultra sound when I was 3 or 4 months pregnant, the technician measured my baby’s nose at barely being inside the normal growth rate. She said that this could mean that our baby could have down syndrome. The doctor met with us and confirmed that it was a possibility and that I could get genetically tested to see what the chances were. After discussing further with my husband, we both came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter what the chances were, we would love this little boy. For the remainder of my pregnancy, I was haunted by this “chance”. Since I had previous experience with a down syndrome boy, I wondered if God had prepared me for this. This was a hard burden to bear those long 5 months. I prayed that God would give me a healthy baby and tried to push it out of my mind.
In Rebekah’s book, she shares some frantic and overwhelming struggles with her down syndrome son that I could very much relate to. I have profound respect for those that care for children who require special attention. It is exhausting in every way imaginable.
The parts of the book where she digs deep in her soul and asks the hard questions is where I slowed way down and began jotting down little notes. Writing words that provoked the same hard questions my soul is asking. She asks, “Why is living in the moment so difficult?” Like Rebekah, I have my daily list of things to accomplish and find myself deep in planning the next season, the next stage of life and never embracing the present moment. Also, I have struggled with depression that was onset by a severe food allergy that caused malnutrition. I agree with her approach that you should look at the root of the problem rather than addressing the symptoms with medicine.
After she admits she is struggling with depression and panic attacks, she spends the bulk of the book trying to finding the gift(s) that she believes you were born with but that got “shoved under the rug” with life. While I do think that it is necessary to think back on your natural talents so that you can be a part of a greater community, being a mother is just that. As a mother, God gave you children that you birthed and commands you to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). The author often describes her many child-less activities including weekly meetings at coffee shops, traveling, working out in the early mornings, and going on retreats to the coast. While these are good things in and of themselves, I don’t know many women who have the resources (both monetary and child care), that can do these things on a weekly and regular basis without compromising their role as a mother. Overall, these were not encouraging to the general stay-at-home mother. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that as a mother, your identity shouldn’t be only that of a mother but there are times when God fills your plate completely solely with child rearing. In her particular case, I find myself wondering how she has all this “free” time with a special needs child. Having spent several weekends around the clock with a down syndrome boy, there are NO free moments, not even when you are sleeping. The author also has two other children, one of whom she hardly mentions. One thing that she doesn’t address is her selfishness in the times when her children needed her. She admits to several tantrums and ultimatums involving her husband dropping everything to come to the rescue. Meanwhile, she doesn’t stop what she is doing and ask herself why she decided to do what she was doing in the first place. When I get to the end of my rope and say, “I just can’t do this or I just can’t live like this”, it is usually because I am pushing some selfish agenda that isn’t working out the way I had planned. More often than not, it is at the expense of those around me and my baby’s nap time.
To sum things up, this book can be thought provoking if you are already in the mindset to examine your life and you have a solid christian background. I would have liked to see scripture references in the book rather than a list of them in the notes in the back of the book. This book would be more helpful for mothers who have older children who require less time and are in school all day(assuming you aren’t home schooling them). Because she is the cofounder of Q-Ideas, I had higher hopes for this book.
I wasn’t sure I was going to share this but sometimes things happen that you don’t expect. Or well, totally expect. A few weeks ago, I heard something in the wall that sporadically made noise for a few days. That can only mean one thing…the thing I dreaded. I made a “honey-do -REAL- QUICK- list” and he did all of the things on the list EXCEPT opening up the wall. I know you women can relate, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. As soon as the sheetrock was broken, I smelled death. Death always goes down so that could only mean one thing, its on the bottom of the wall. I retrieved my husband from his home office and politely insisted that he needed to open the wall down to the floor. Apparently, I was expecting death to move or jump out. I’ve seen too many movies.
It was worse than I thought. Like Indian Jones and the temple of doom where you see skeletons piled on one another. They’ve been there so long, there is nothing on them, just bones. There was a “recent” one along with a few others that were completely flattened but still had remnants of fur. I know you are thinking, wow, that is gross. Just to a bit of info on this house we live in, it was a foreclosure owned by a couple who divorced later in life(well after the kids were gone) and well, the lady just isn’t in her right mind. Yep, the cops had to remove her with handcuffs because she refused to leave. There is a lot more drama involved but I’ll leave that for another post. The thing we would love to know about is her tissue box fascination. This house was custom built with 19 custom tissue box dispensers in the WALLS! I feel sorry for the guy having to frame them all in and in the most random places. Like you couldn’t walk 5 feet to get to the tissues?
Here’s the pictures you’ve been dying to see….. I stopped counting after 25. Somehow the pictures make it look like a little bit of mouse bodies but it almost filled an entire grocery bag. Yes, I gagged.
Yesterday, the walls of the dining room just had to go. My time is very limited with a 9 month old but I am just biting the bit trying to get things accomplished. I long for change. My husband is constantly giving me a hard time about how many times I’ve moved the furniture around in our house. I am always trying to make things better and more functional (or at least that is what I tell myself). This need for change never escapes me. There is a deeper meaning behind this that I am trying to reflect on and dig into. One day, I will figure it out.
So here is the interior of the dining room. This is officially the first “demo” of the interior of many to come in our “new” house.
a year ago last week, my life forever changed. my relationship with food will never be the same. except that my fear of starvation still does not seem to go away. i simply have anxiety about not having enough food. going to the grocery store is a calming activity for me. i feel safe there. this is the first time i’ve admitted such a thing so hold on to your chairs.
my world is forever evolving because no one actually knows the damage done. i’ve been experimenting with being casein free (all dairy and some meets). it has been 3 weeks now without so much a drop of milk or a bite of cheese. i went lactose free for a month but there are plenty of lactose free dairy options so that wasn’t an issue. i never thought i’d be able to live without dairy much less enjoy it but i do. i am a huge fan of coconut milk. the so delicious brand is my favorite and lets not forget Nada-moo. hands down, it’s the best ice cream ever! when i first bought this ice cream, my step-daughter (9) leaned over and said that if it wasn’t for me going g-free then we would have never tasted such yummy stuff.
other than the casein free experiment, i am also weening myself off caffeine. my husband went out of town for the week so i thought what better time to try going coffee free? i am now on day 3 of no coffee and haven’t had one headache. i feel strangely calm and not lethargic one bit. i think i’m on to something. life is a mystery that only i can solve.