It happens to us all at some point: When we least expect it, our normally reliable toilet lets us down. A few flushes and a poke with the toilet brush often will be enough to get things moving again, but when that isn’t enough, here are some great suggestions to tackle the problem easily with … Continue reading 6 Ways to Unclog a Toilet without a Plunger or a Plumber [Infographic]
We've never established a traditional Easter dinner for our family. Partly it's because we don't eat lamb or ham, but the biggest reason is that for the past 15 years I've been heavily involved in the Easter celebrations at church. The Easter Vigil service is late Saturday night, followed by a festive reception, and then … Continue reading Why we had Banana Bread and Black Bean Soup for Easter dinner
This is a guest post by Ben Stallings (Becca's brother), a Web developer and permaculture designer in Emporia, Kansas. “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - snap! The job's a game!” --Mary Poppins I work from home, and my wife doesn't, so I … Continue reading Streamlined Task Juggling: Getting things done when working from home
This is a guest post by Jackie Waters. Ms. Waters believes balance and diligence can help you achieve a beautiful, clean home. She runs hyper-tidy.com, providing advice on being...Hyper Tidy! If you’re not an attorney, accountant, or financial planner, you may have anxiety about life planning and making the right decisions to secure your children’s … Continue reading How to Approach Life Planning to Secure Your Children’s Futures
This is a story I've been wanting to tell since it happened, but it almost doesn't sound real. This really did happen, though, and it was an important encouragement just when I needed one, and now I'm at a point where I really need encouragement again. I'm kind of writing this for myself to read, … Continue reading EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT.
My grandma would be 101 years old today, if she were still alive. Last year I tried to write the centennial tribute she deserved, but I was recovering from a brain injury, so not only was everything a struggle but I felt really terrible and inadequate about everything...and also, I realized, "Grandma meant so much … Continue reading Grandma, Grace, Portage, Petunias, and a Jade Green Sweatshirt
A few days ago, I was unpacking my winter clothes and putting away my summer clothes, and I realized that there was a small section at the very back of my closet that had gone untouched for years. The garments hanging back there literally had cobwebs and a thick layer of dust on the shoulders. … Continue reading A Person Who Deserves to Wear This Dress
When I was in college, in each September's first meeting of my social organization, a few people would get up and make an earnest speech entitled, "Caffeine Is an Addictive, Psychoactive Drug" in which they tried to convince the new students to respect the power of caffeine by saving it for times when they really … Continue reading Coffee in Moderation: The 7-1-7 Plan
Grandma meant so much to me that I can't cram it all into one article. Here is just one story that I hope will show you a little bit of what she was like and how she shaped me.
Although I've managed to get 5 articles posted in the past 6 weeks, I'm actually not doing all that well, and I finally decided that I owe my readers an explanation. I was driving, with my whole family in the car, when our car was rear-ended on August 15. Nobody else was hurt. I didn't … Continue reading What Insurance Is For
This is not a sponsored post. This is a recommendation of products I tried and liked. Daniel and I try to make enough real, from-scratch, healthy food that I (working in an office) can take leftovers for my lunch every day and he (working at home) can get something ready to eat within a few … Continue reading All-Natural Vegetarian Non-Refrigerated Convenience Foods
Barb Curlee was my friend. She died last year, of cancer, after fewer years than she deserved. Barb and I met at church, where we eventually served on the vestry together during three difficult years when the vestry had a lot to do! Barb was wise and strong and mostly cheerful through it all. Barb … Continue reading The Barb Curlee Memorial Bookmark
Today is Ash Wednesday. Three years ago on Ash Wednesday, I wrote this article about the renewal we can experience during Lent. I had no idea what was coming my way! You may have heard of the idea of choosing one word as a theme for your year. You're supposed to place this word around … Continue reading Get Up and Eat: 3 Years of Replenishment
Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
Last Wednesday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold: runny nose, itchy throat, ominous heavy feeling in the middle of my head. The typical cold lasts 7-10 days. Bummer. Today is Tuesday. I'm still having an episode of sneezing and nose-blowing every few hours, but otherwise I feel great! I've been feeling … Continue reading Knock Out a Cold Quickly and Naturally!
My partner's grandfather, Herschel, has a tradition of giving everyone a birthday gift of the number of dollars that matches her age, so he gave me $41 last month. I used it to order 8 pairs of socks from Maggie's Organics. What a boring gift! It brings to mind the 1980s "Saturday Night Live" skit … Continue reading Why I Spent My Birthday Money on Socks
I'm not very romantic. A lot of the gooey sentiments expressed around Valentine's Day send me into fits of critical thinking. I'm kind of like this. But I am in love with Daniel, and have been for almost 20 years, and sometimes get kind of sentimental about it. In particular, I can get all choked … Continue reading My Favorite Love Song
This is a guest post by Ben Stallings (brother of ‘Becca) , who is a permaculture gardener, home energy efficiency auditor, and owner of a curbside recycling business in Kansas. I got an email a few days ago informing me that I'm in the top 5% of users of a service called Pocket -- I've used … Continue reading Pocket: A Handy Tool for Web Browsing
Welcome to the December 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Change . . . This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about life changes. *** As a teenager, I went … Continue reading Planning, Parenting, and Perfection
The four weeks before Christmas make up the contemplative season of Advent, in which Christians are supposed to prepare our hearts to welcome the newborn Prince of Peace. The four weeks before Christmas are a time of frenzied shopping, cooking, housecleaning or travel-planning, and festive-event-attending for most people. There are various ways to calm the … Continue reading Advent Prayer Tip