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Showing posts from 2013

We made the Big Move... to Australia!

The move is completed (mostly).  And we're all together again in Australia.  I have to say that between trains and planes, I prefer trains.

We made it over on June 20 and have been here a couple months, settling in, at the in-laws.  It's helped with the culture shock, but I am definitely ready for us to have our own space.

Change in the Wind -- Moving USA to Aus

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I have 8 - 12 weeks to prepare for the move.  While there are a very few items we are allowing ourselves to take, for the most part, we're selling everything and taking nothing.

I've been thinking I would pack about 3 outfits each for DearDaughter and myself, which would easily fit in the carry-on piece.  That way the checked suitcases could be used for the quilts and embroidered pillowcases I'm allowing for myself.  They will be used to pad the new computer and printer which would be about double the price in Australia compared to here.  There is also a matched set of great works books which my husband is taking.

Really, it's all up in the air and no final decisions have been made, except all the furniture, kitchenware, tools, bicycles and whatnotall has to go.






for discussion -- Money Secrets of the Amish by Lorilee Craker

I am in a book group and we're discussing this book and since I'm leading the discussions, I thought this would be a good place to share the discussions.


There is a subculture here in the USA which came through the 2008 crash without experiencing huge lay-offs and financial distress.The Amish, with their simple lifestyle and tight communities, clotheslines and buggies, are doing some things right, and the rest of us, the Englischers, might learn something from them.

                “When compared to our Englischer money bungles, the Amish way of wealth is a whole inverted lifestyle of thrift, self-control, carefulness, sharing, and community.It’s a curious prosperity—a rootedness, simplicity, and a step back to “quaint” money values—that goes way beyond debt-free living.”

                 The money secrets of the Amish are like “spokes in a wheel” and while we will focus on just one at a time, it is all of them together which bring success.

Use it up, Wear it out…

Bonnet and Booties

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I'm not much of a tv-watcher, but I am a bit of a crocheter.  And the two go together very well.  To me, watching tv is a passive thing to do.  In fact, it's not really "doing" anything, just sitting and watching.  Watching doesn't really take any brain power.  Anyone can do it.  So, having the attention-span of a gnat, I get bored watching tv which is why crochet goes with it so well for me.  It gives me something to do with my hands and to focus on while I am passively listening to shows on tv.  It makes my time productive which results in things like this bonnet and booties.






Do you like to keep your hands busy while watching tv?
What do you like to work on in your free time?




This is the pattern I used for the bonnet:  http://www.how-to-crochet-instructions.com/crochet-baby-bonnet.html
And for the booties:  http://www.bernat.com/pattern.php?PID=4185&cps=99999944

















I use Cloth -- napkins and TP

The topic of using cloth family wipes rather than paper toilet paper has been getting attention lately in some of the fb groups I'm in..  Of all the responses, it looks like 45% are all for going to cloth or have already done so, 45% have a lot of questions and uncertainties to work through and 10% are eeeewwwww'ed out by the thought and won't even consider it.  To each their own.  I've gone cloth.

I cut some old flannel into napkins years ago, and when they get too old to be napkins, I cut them down to hankie size.  I cloth diapered and made cloth wipes for my baby.. And most recently, I have taken the old baby wipes, stacked them on the back of the toilet for the grown-ups to use.  I do.  The hub doesn't.  No worries.

Funny thing is, I told the hub I was doing this a few months ago.  And this morning I was telling him how much this topic has been coming up lately and how pleased I was with the results in our home.  And he was surprised that I was doin…

Keeping a Stocked Pantry

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Meal-planning, keeping a pantry, stockpiling, hoarding -- there are so many ways to describe this, but what it comes down to is when you go to cook a meal, do you have what you need?  Me - usually yes, sometimes no.  But that's life.

This is, again, one of those things that I never used to think much about.  During my single days, I can still tell you what I'd buy every week -- a couple hamburger helper meals, a tuna helper meal, a bratwurst meal, a mac & cheese and hot dogs meal, a spaghetti meal, and maybe a couple soup meals thrown in every now and then.

Then I had children, and then I really started thinking about the food I was eating, and feeding my babies!  I also moved out of town so a garden was a real possibility.  I had some conversations with my grandma about all the canning I remember happening at her house during summers (and all the tomatoes I mashed, corn I shucked and green beans I snapped - but that's a post for another day).  She would put up enough ve…

Routines and Decluttering

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In my life before children, I worked full-time at an office job, came home after work, made supper, and watched tv.  Weekends were the time for laundry and housecleaning.  That was my routine.  It was simple and it worked.  Everything that needed to be done got done.  It wasn't something I thought about or made a plan for.  It was just the way I had learned from my mom.  She had worked full-time at an office.  Evenings in her home were supper and tv.  Weekends were laundry and cleaning.  I learned well, right?!

After my daughters were born, I stayed home with them.  And at first, it was great.  They were babies and stayed where I put them.  I could spend a whole day doing laundry.  And another day cleaning the house.  So the routine from before babies still worked..  for a while.

Those babies didn't always stay on the blanket in the living room while I vacuumed the bedrooms.  So I told myself I'd do it later, but then later never happened.  Before I knew it, my house was a…

More Than Just a Stay at Home Mom

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"Oh, I'm just a stay at home mom."

"I don't have time for a hobby.  I'm just so consumed with family."

"Prior to having a baby, I loved....."

"I don't really have a hobby anymore."

"I too have done away with my hobbies since I became a mom.  I used to do ....."

"I spend all my time taking the children to their activities."


I meet a lot of moms who have their whole identity wrapped up in being a mom.  They have completely lost their identity as an individual, and that's sad.  It is vitally important that we moms show our children that we are a complete person, that being a mom is only a part of who we are as an individual.  And even more important, we need to do this for ourselves.  We have to keep hold of our own interests otherwise, when those children are grown, what is left?  Not only do you face an empty nest, but you face an empty person!

Being a SAHM isn't "just" anything.  It's HUGE!  Y…