Sunday, March 21, 2021

Housework As A Spiritual Practice

I love these sweet, vintage magazine covers. They always remind me of my paternal grandmother 
who was an avid magazine collector. She was exactly my age when I was born, which has come to 
mind often to me this year. In looking at the date on this cover, it occurred to me that she was a young 
27 year old wife and mother of two little girls at the time . My father would come along four years later.  
Sometimes it seems surreal that someone I knew and loved lived during this time. My daughter was born in 1999,
 a 97 year gap between two of the most important people in my life, near an entire century, 
and I was born smack dab in the middle of them. 

"The art of cleaning is a simple spiritual activity that is often overlooked. The image of the monk sweeping the courtyard has a deep significance, because without the practice of cleaning there can be no empty space, no space for a deep communion with the sacred. Outer and inner cleaning belong to the foundation of spiritual practice, and as the monk’s broom touches the ground, it has a particular relationship to the Earth. We need to create a sacred space in order to live in relationship to the sacred within ourselves and within creation.

In today’s busy life cleaning one’s home is often considered a chore. We may spend time and energy (and expensive products) in our daily ritual bathing, but the simple art of cleaning our living space is rarely given precedence. Our culture calls to us to use products that will kill all of the “germs” that surround us, products that are often more toxic than the germs, but do we give attention, mindfulness, to caring for the space in which we live? Are we fully present with our brush or vacuum cleaner?

Once I realized that everything is part of one living whole, that nothing is separate, I understood how everything needs care and attention. I bring this feeling and awareness into my cleaning. Cleaning a table, dusting a shelf, I give attention and love, because everything responds to love and care—not just people, or animals, or plants, but everything. I feel strongly that just as I should have only what I need, I should have only what I can look after, love, and care for. It is a simple recognition of the sacred that is present within everything, and a way to live from the heart in everyday life. Maybe, having been brought up in a family without love or care, I feel this need especially strongly, but I sense that it comes from a deeper knowing of how everything is part of the fabric of love—that creation is woven out of love. And so when I clean I am also looking after, caring for, what is around me, knowing that it too needs to be loved.

I must admit that I love to clean. I find cleaning deeply reassuring. Personally I love emptiness, inner and outer space. In cleaning my living space I am creating emptiness, clearing up the debris that so easily accumulates. And when one cleans with love and attention one is not just vacuuming the dust, but also the psychic debris, even the worthless thought-forms that stay in the air. Because our culture values only what it can see and touch, we do not understand this invisible accumulation. But it is real, and without conscious attention it clutters our life more than we realize. Just as ritual bathing prepares the worshipper, or just as we may take off our shoes at the entrance to a temple or mosque (or even a friend’s home), cleaning is an important preparation for living with the sacred in our daily life.

When I first started lecturing, traveling over America, I would stay in people’s houses. At the time I was lecturing mainly to Jungian psychology groups, and so would sometimes stay in the house of a therapist. I remember one night being given a bed in the “spare room,” which was also my host’s therapy room. After a few restless hours I gave up trying to sleep and realized that I was lying in the psychic soup of all of his patients. Through his therapy work he brought unconscious feelings to the surface, brought shadow dynamics, anger, and depression into consciousness. And so they were floating around the room, waiting to attach themselves to the next person who entered. The therapist had no understanding of psychic cleaning. Sadly it had not been part of his training or practice. The air was dense with discarded psychic contents.

This is not uncommon. Often people who do healing wash or shake their hands afterward, but then the illness just goes into the water or into the air, to be drunk or breathed by another. When my teacher was in India with her Sufi sheikh, she would sometimes witness him performing a healing. She noticed that after each healing he would cup his hands and bring something to his mouth. She realized that he was inwardly digesting the sickness that he had cleansed, so that it would not just stay in the air and attach itself to another person.

Ecological awareness teaches us the importance of recycling and composting. The waste from our daily lives should not be allowed just to accumulate in a landfill. Nor should it be allowed to get into our water, which in a less visible way is becoming toxic with all the tranquilizers and other drugs that go through our system into the water, affecting and mutating the fish. There are many ecologically aware people who make it a practice to leave as little as possible in their garbage bins for the landfills, and work to safeguard the food and water supply, and this is very commendable. But if we are to practice spiritual ecology, if we are to include the spiritual in our ecological awareness, we need to bring a greater awareness to all the debris we leave behind. We need to learn how to clear up after ourselves, how to keep an empty space—how to be attentive in our cleaning.

When we bring a quality of attention in our cleaning, the psychic debris can be absorbed along with the dust. Often the attention is linked to the breath, so the two work together. When we work this way the debris does not harm us, and I have found a deep satisfaction in this practice.

Our present culture teaches us to accumulate, but not how to make empty. But for real spiritual work in the inner and outer worlds, in order to give space to the divine, in order to return to the sacred, we need to practice a certain purification in our daily lives. We learn to eat consciously, to be attentive to our outer environment, to sweep our courtyard. We also need to learn how to clean our house, both physically and inwardly. Just as we need to learn to empty our mind in meditation, to clear away the clutter of unnecessary thoughts, so do we need to consciously clean our living space. Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming with attention, we bring a certain awareness to the ground of our being. This has to do with respect for our environment.

In some old Celtic rituals after a wedding the couple walk to the celebration preceded by a young boy and girl with brooms, who are sweeping away the evil spirits so that the couple have a happy marriage. These ancient rituals carry an understanding of the inner worlds and how they can affect our daily life. In the practice of spiritual ecology we are not just working with the outer physical world, but also the inner worlds, and we need to respect this. We need to relearn how to live lightly, to leave as little debris behind us as we can. We need to relearn how to sweep with our broom. It is simple good housekeeping, more important than we realize.

In the Sufi practice we work with the heart, and so darkness and debris are also absorbed through the heart, with love. Sufis are sometimes known as “sweepers” because they sweep up the debris, the dust of the world, that others leave behind"

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee
Adapted from Spiritual Ecology: 10 Practices to Reawaken the Sacred in Everyday Life

*AN OFFERING:  I offer this post for it's wisdom and beauty. As a follower of Jesus Christ, and in my own experiences with spiritual warfare and deliverance, I have personally witnessed the work of spiritual forces left lingering and ready to work their mayhem. "Our battle is not only against flesh and blood" - Ephesians 6:12. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and the act of annointing and "sweeping out" , for both people and places, in the practice of spiritual warfare.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

You Are Welcome, In This House

Just a little something I found on Instagram and made my own.
If you like it, click on the image to enlarge, right click (control/click on Mac) 
and save to your computer. Insert into document and adjust widths as needed. 
Print and enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Seven Promises of God (And Good News!)

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers today, I could feel them surrounding me. Test results are good! No cancer, no Crohns. We're still trying to get to the bottom (literally) of what is causing my issues, but right now it looks like it may be IBS or food allergies. Waiting on biopsies and bloodwork, but I'm resting with a little more ease. My paternal grandmother died from colon cancer, and while there's no direct link, these types of problems concern me. But praise to Him there wasn't even a single polyp, and I waited until this year (59) to have this done. My advice if you're on the fence, just bite the bullet and do it! My experience wasn't bad at all, even the prep was manageable, but then remember, I'm the girl who chews on garlic cloves to ward off colds! But seriously, from what I've been told the prep has improved in recent years. My doctor used Clenpiq and mine was cranberry flavored, not something I'd choose off the shelf to drink, but easily managed none the less. Find a doctor who uses it and get it done! It's worth it!

I found these seven promises on Instagram yesterday during my prep and wanted to keep them somewhee I would see them often, so I made up this little graphic and printed it out and put it in my bible. I won't link it to save space in my Google Drive (I REALLY need to clean it out!), but if you like it, you can click on the image and save it to your computer.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Pleasant Ways to Pass Unpleasant Times

I'm sorry that things have been so quiet around here this week. I have so many things I want to share, but this week, if I'm being honest, has been a bit stressful.

I'm having some tests done tomorrow, the kind that require a 24 hour liquid diet and drinking what I've been told is something a bit unpleasant. Fortunately I've been known to chew on garlic cloves to ward off a cold, so I do pretty well in the distasteful department. But texture is  another thing, so I've got my straw ready to push as far in as possible in an effort to avoid as much of my tongue as I can, so we shall see. But the greatest source of my stress is less about the prep and test, and more about seeing a doctor at all. I won't go into a lot of detail, but because of things that have happened to me in the past (unrelated to doctors, by the way), I don't handle examinations of any kind, well. 

So for now there's pine and cinnamon bubbling away in the diffuser, a cup of my favorite peppermint tea, and a nice broth and lemonade on the horizon. I bought four different blends of tea because I figured in the absence of substance, variety is the key. I may have gone overboard, but no bother, they'll get used up.

Breakfast is the hardest, what exactly does one have for breakfast that's a clear liquid? I don't think my stomach could handle the broth this early, so my objective is to simply try to push through with my peppermint tea. Any time I fast, it's the hours between 6-9 a.m. that the devil fights me the hardest. But if I can make it to 9:00, the urge to cheat soon passes, here's praying today will be the same.

I realized last night that my prep, being today, falls on St. Patrick's Day, and being mostly Irish, I'll claim that luck. We even awoke to a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow this morning, with the deposit of a fat little stimulus check, and while I have my doubts about government dependence, in this case, I'll take it.

We've decided to put most of it in savings, but we are allocating a bit for a little fun, so I'll pass some of the time today perusing my wish list at Amazon. I got out for a bit yesterday morning and picked up a few things I'd already planned to have on hand. The latest issue of Bella Grace, a new Charles Wysocki puzzle, though this time I went with a 300 piece. It seemed more doable, and finally, I've two new books on my Kindle, Return to Our Senses and The Gift of Wonder, both by Christine Sine. I'm also still on the hunt for a good copy (preferrably hardcover) of Snowbound With Betsy, because until I find it, my OCD self says they must be read in order I can't move on, but I'm also NOT paying the prices Amazon is asking. I found an old, tattered copy on ebay, but I really want the cover that is pictured in the link above as all my other books in my collection are. 

With all of this, not including my library of old movies, cross stitching and crocheting, I should be able to pass the time a little more pleasantly. The worst part will most likely be the dose I have to drink at 5:00 a.m. in the morning. My stomach has always been slow to wake up, so that one might be a bit harder to digest. But I'm trying to think positive thoughts, because I know our minds can be a powerful force and things are often not as bad as we imagined them to be. Still, I'll be glad when this is over. 

The tests are at 10:00 tomorrow, and while it's considered routine, there is a possibility that I may have Crohn's or IBS, and they'll be testing for both, so your prayers are much appreciated! As I mentioned earlier, I don't like doctor's in the first place and do my level best to avoid them at all costs. They have their place, it's just rather limited in my life, but this time I really didn't have a choice. Still, I try to be kind, but if there's one arena where my introverted self becomes rather outspoken, it's with doctor's and nurses. I'm not a pushover, and in the end since I'm the one footing the bill, I don't allow myself to be bullied. When I do succumb to the need to seek out their services, it's on my terms. So as you pray, maybe say a little prayer for them, too, they may need it. :)

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Easy Peasy Peanut Butter Fudge

Today I'm sharing my easy peasy recipe for peanut butter fudge! I've made this for years and I'm still amazed how good it tastes when it contains only three ingredients and is made in the microwave! If all fudge was this easy I'd probably make it all the time!

I typically make this at Christmas, but I never got around to it this year and I've been missing that addition ever since. We've been experimenting with some sugar free fudge for my husband which reminded me of this recipe, and since my diet is not as restricted, I made up a batch for myself, although I seriously need to find someone to share it with! There is no way I can eat all of this by myself!

If you like peanut butter fudge you should definitely try this recipe. It never fails!

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla - optional (I have never added this but the original recipe included it)

Grease an 8X8 inch pan with butter, and then line with parchment paper (this will make the removal of the fudge much easier). In a large glass bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter and cover with a paper towel. Microwave for about 2 minutes on high.

Stir and microwave for 1-2 more minutes depending on the wattage of your microwave. Carefully remove it from the microwave because it will be very hot!

Add the powdered sugar (and vanilla if you're using it) to the melted peanut butter mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until it's well combined.

Using a spatula, spread the mixture in to lined pan. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, foil or a lid, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Once cooled, carefully turn the pan upside down onto a cutting to remove fudge.  Remove the parchment paper and cut into small pieces.

Store the fudge in your refrigerator, and enjoy for up to 2 weeks!

Remember, you can find links to all my recipes in the right side bar!

Monday, March 8, 2021

Quiet Believers

Last week I began reading an old favorite that always inspires, The Hidden Beauty of Everyday Life by Kent Nerburn. All of my books are still packed away in storage and it may still be awhile before I have them with me again. But thanks to The Internet Archives and a strong cell signal, most of them are still within my reach.

Just a few days before I'd been lamenting over The Sacred Pathways assessment I took a few weeks back, and feeling guilty for scoring so low in the areas of caregiving, enthusiastic worship and social justice. I felt guilty, ashamed almost, for not being more demonstrative with my faith. But deep down I also knew that this wasn't an accurate reflection of who I truly am. 

For instance, in the area of caregiving. I do have compassion for the hurting, struggling and less fortunate, I'm just not the person to come along side and walk with you day in and day out through that season. But I help the homeless when they cross my path, as I feel led. And prior to Covid my husband and I volunteered in a soup kitchen on a regular basis. In the past I've cooked meals for the grieving and new mothers, all of which I would say express care and compassion. Small, singular acts of service provided at the time of need and with limited social interaction. This is how a highly sensitive introvert with social anxiety cares for others, and it still counts, at least, it does in my book.

As for enthusiastic worship, to be honest, it just doesn't appeal to me. Just recently I was listening to a podcast about the mega-church movement and their high-tech, entertaining, "seeker friendly" approach to the gospel and found myself nodding in near constant agreement. And while I'm not here to preach on that platform (maybe another day), I felt relieved. Apparently I'm not alone in my opinions. I am, however, a deeply worshipful being, I'm just not a jump around the stage, rock star kind of worshipper. But there are songs that usher me to the foot of the throne at the sound of the first note. The quieter, more reflective, and dare I say, more worshipful strains. These songs touch me in a place deep in my soul. They leave me prostrate, bowed down, hands lifted, tears flowing in worship to my Savior and King. It may not be what one deems "enthusiastic", but it is heart felt and genuine, none the less. It is private, and it is personal, but it worship, without question.

And finally, yes, it's true, I'm lacking I guess, when it comes to social justice. At least, if you consider rioting, picketing and chanting outside abortion clinics or boycotting businesses, just to name a few, the "christian approach" to social justice. And before anyone gets their feathers in a ruffle, let me explain. There are many things, especially in this day and age, that I do not agree with. I also know that what we see on television, in social media and read about in the newspaper is anything but the truth. But I do not and will not ever condone "Christians", which in itself means "image bearer of Christ", who participate in riots, who call out women, who on some level are already grieving and at the very least physically shaken, moments after aborting their child, and who single out a company and incite a boycott all while still willfully handing over their money to ten other businesses who support the same if not far worse abuses and practices. In other words, don't preach to me about my peppermint latte as you show off your most recent Target haul. Don't get me wrong, my daughter works for Target and I frequent their aisles more than I care to admit, and they even have a Starbucks at the entrance to the store! But for me if one is going to draw a line, better it be broad than narrow, or at the very least, don't shame the rest of us if we don't follow. And while I am pro-life, I am also pro-love. If you want to know why so many women turn to abortion, look no further than the church who shamed and rejected her for her actions in the first place. If we as the church would come along side these women in the early stages of their pregnancy, offer them guidance, resources and support, present them with options for both keeping their child and for adoption, I believe the number of abortions in this country would drop significantly. So no, I don't believe in taunting and shaming a woman outside of an abortion clinic, it is we who should be ashamed for our judgement. So yes, as you can see I do have very strong opinions, but because of my nature, you won't find me shouting them from the rooftops, to be honest, I'm a little surprised I'm sharing them here.

After I reflected upon all of this, I felt better about myself, and it was a little while after that I came across this passage in Kent's book.

"These are the quiet believers, those who live a life of service, trying to shape their small corner of the world into a place of warmth and love by making each ordinary act of life a prayerful offering to the greater mystery of God.

There are many among us who believe in God but do not loudly proclaim our belief. We know that our minds are small vessels in which to hold so great a mystery. We believe, as the Bible says, that there are many rooms in our Father’s mansion, and that all rooms are welcoming and all rooms are good. We do not wish to tell others that one room is greater than the others, we do not wish to leave anyone standing outside the door."

I don't know about you but I think this is so beautiful, and it makes me proud to count myself among the "quiet believers" in this world. It's funny, because from an early age I've often said that "just because I'm quiet doesn't mean I don't have beliefs and opinions", and that is true. But I never marked myself as a "quiet believer" and I rather like the association. I especially love that last line, "we do not wish to leave anyone standing outside the door." Even Jesus "knocks" on the door of our heart, he doesn't barrel through and break it down. A soft tap upon the door of our heart and it is we who choose whether or not to allow Him to enter. That's how I strive to live my life, a soft answer, a soft word of advice, always with love and never with judgement. You can take it or leave it, I'll love you just the same. We, the quiet believers,  save the world in our own way, one small act, one smile, one kind word at a time. And you're anything like me . . .

Here's to us!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Decorating Your Home With Gently Used Items - A Few Updated Pieces

If you recall, last Sunday I posted about decorating our new apartment (which probably won't happen until August, but that's another post for another day), with repurposed and re-crafted pieces that I picked up at yard sales and thrift stores. If you missed it, then you can go back and read it here.

Anyway, I was able to update two of the pieces to suit my style and decor this week and I wanted to share them with you today.

In the picture below are the pieces as I originally purchased them are on the left, and on the right you can see the updates.

As I mentioned in my first post, I didn't care for the look of the pine trees on the ribbon of the basket, which ended up not being a ribbon at all, but a thin piece of wood. But thankfully I was still able to cut it and pull it out pretty easily and, as I suspected the green and black check ribbon I bought for 75% off at Michaels after Christmas fit the space perfectly! I am IN LOVE with this basket! I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to use it and for now it's sitting on a shelf at my daughter's apartment. I spent a little time there this week visiting and crafting, and this was the first project I worked on. I knew it would be the easiest and that the ribbon was the only change I would make. It took me less than 20 minutes to complete it.

Since you can't see the wooden kleenex box very well in the second picture above, here's a better view. This one was pretty easy, as well. I had a day this week when I was feeling well enough to work with my husband on some projects in our storage facility, one of which was painting two chairs to go with our kitchen table. We've been functioning with two black chairs and just pulling in odd ones here and there from the rest of the house for awhile now and I was eager to have four black chairs specifically for the table. So now I have two sets of two matching chairs but they are similar in style and to be honest I kind of like the mismatched look, and the fact that they are all black groups it all together nicely. I'm going to let the paint set for a couple of weeks on the two we just painted to make sure it adheres well, then I'm going to distress them with sandpaper like the other two chairs and the table.  But, while I was at it I decided to go ahead and paint this wooden kleenex box, and I love how it turned out! Like the chairs I'll let it set for a bit, probably not quite as long as the chairs, but I also have to buy some sandpaper the next time I'm out, and then I'll scuff it up!

My husband wanted to hit the thrift stores again to pick up some DVD's to take on the road with him when he leaves (which will still be awhile yet), and while we were there I came across these two tablecloths in my FAVORITE colors and both in perfect condition. They fit my kitchen table well enough, they won't hang over much on the end, but I don't mind that, and I'm sure I'll find a multitude of other uses for them. And the best part is, they were in the linen bin and almost all the items in that particular bin are only a $1, so this was a real steal!

I picked up a few other pieces, too, but I'm going to save that post for another day. A few of the times I plan to keep, but I did pick up a few things to sell, as well. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to work all of that, but I'm not in any hurry and I still have to craft and repurpose the items to get them ready.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed seeing my "flipped thrift", I guess you could say! I'll be back on Monday and hope to visit with you then!  Have a beautiful weekend, it's gorgeous here!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Small Things Post It Notes

You all know me by now, when I find a resource I love, 9 times out of 10 I'm going to recreate it to suit my color preferences, and the same goes for post it notes! I do have a few lovely green and red ones, but finding them in the shades I love, is hard. That's why more often than not I just grab one of these designs  anytime I'm working. Sometimes I even skip the sticky part and just tape it or paper clip it to a document. You can also buy repositionable glue sticks to make them work exactly the same as post-its. 

Anyway, I've been going through my files that I use for this blog this week and organizing some things again. Do you know I have more than 200+ blog post ideas in cue just sitting and waiting to be developed and shared with you? I'm so excited! Though a lot of things about our decision for me to remain at home have been hard, being able to share with you all here on a regular, consistent basis is one of the things I am very much looking forward to! There's SO much more to come, but or now, if you like these sweet little post its, just click the links below!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Ordinary Days of Small Things
Spring Day Keeper + Supplements

Good morning, friends! And let me begin with an apology, although I thankfully I caught it a little earlier this season than last. I don't know why I'm so off in posting the links to the seasonal day keepers! I think in my heard I'm moving with the seasons and since spring doesn't properly arrive until the 19th, I keep thinking that's when the next volume begins! BUT, since I have these arranged in three month increments, March IS the first month of the new season keeper, so once again, I'm late! But thankfully it's only the 3rd, so you haven't missed much and it will be easy to catch up if you need to! 

With that, I'm posting the link to the SPRING DAY KEEPER down below and I hope you'll enjoy it. It's the same format, nothing new, but I know a lof you really enjoy it! I'm also including the link to the goal planning sheets and the phenology wheels for spring, as well. ~ Enjoy!



As a supplment to the day keepers, last quarter I featured these goal planning sheets. I'm not sure how many of you actually downloaded and or even used them. To be honest, I often create these wonderful resources and then they sit, printed, unused. Something I'm working on. But since its so easy to update them, I've included them as well.

Also, if you're interested, I've added a new feature to my right side bar,


The links will take you to online assessments that you can take to discover 
things like your Spiritual Pathway, your Personality Type,  or your Enneagram type.
There are also links to guide you in creating a Rule of Life, as well as ways to add 
the spiritual practices of Silence and Solitude and observing a weekly Sabbath,
as well as a few others. I have either used these tools or am currently working
through them, and since I seem to mention one or all of these frequently in my posts, 
I thought it would be nice to group them all into one place for easy access.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Sustainable Living - Decorating Your Home With Gently Used Items

 With the upcoming changes in our lives, I've been thinking about creating a cozy nest once again, both for myself and my daughter, and as a sweet place of retreat when my husband returns home from time to time from traveling. It's going to be an adjustment for all of us, for sure, but we are all at peace in this process.

Most of my lovely things have been packed away in storage, but since we did some significant downsizing prior to moving into the van, I am looking for some decorative items to supplement the things that were discarded when we thought we would both be on the road together for at least a couple of years. 

I'm VERY late to the game, but living sustainably has become more and more important to me as I've grown older. You would have thought growing up the 70's it would have played more of a factor, but I somehow I never related much to that classic Keep America Beautiful commercial as littering was at least one thing I never engaged in, or so I thought. But I've learned over the years that what we throw into our garbage can and conceal in plastic trash bags (which is part of the problem), is just as detrimental to the earth and our environment as blatantly throwing trash out the car window. No one's letting me off the hook, and it's high time I did my part.

One of the ways that I am looking to do this is buying local and second hand, when possible, and I'm finding that it's almost always possible. So when I decided I wanted to begin to pick up a few items here and there to decorate our new apartment I turned to our local Goodwill. Now before I go any further, I know there are a lot of people who have issues with Goodwill alone, and I completely understand. But in my neck of the woods there aren't many other sources, save for yard sales which won't be in full swing for a few weeks yet. And yes, there is Facebook Marketplace, but having been a buyer and seller in that format I find that route mostly more frustrating than profitable. What I may save in money I lose in emotional peace. I don't know what it is about the nature of most of the people who buy and sell in this format, but it's never been a very pleasant experience for me.

Anyway, I thought about writing a weekly post "Thrifty Thursday", as in the past Thursday was the day I went to the grocery store and picked up food items for the weekend and also stopped in at our local Goodwill, there are actually six different store fronts within an hour's drive here, though I seldom hit them all in a day. But until we actually get moved and settled **again!**, I haven't established my daily and weekly routines yet, though I suspect they will be much the same as before. But this week I ended up getting out yesterday, so maybe today's post is more suited to "The Sunday Sales". To be honest I'm not even sure I'll post weekly, because I typically never went EVERY week.  However, I am considering recrafting and repurposing some of the items I purchase to see if I can't turn a small profit and supplement our income a bit. I haven't decided exactly how or where I'll sale my goods, but it is something I'm considering. That being said, all of the items I picked up yesterday I plan to keep, at least for the moment. So let me share my haul with you! 

In this picture you see this cute little wooden container with the pine tree cut out. I ADORE decorating with a woodland, cabin theme, especially in our bedroom. You can't tell by the picture, but it's actually pretty tall and narrow, I'd say about 10" in height. I bought it filled with pinecones, which you see peeping through the cut out, but my husband wanted those for the van, so I gave them to him. My plan is to paint it black (of course), and then place a tall votive candle inside to shine through the cut out, kind of like a little night light. Though I might have trouble finding one tall and narrow enough to fit, in which case I may just pick up another bag of those cute scented pinecones that you can find pretty easily at craft stores and fill it again. Anyway, I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and for $1.99 I was happy to get it. As an added bonus, when I got to the check out line I realized the color for the day was red and since this had a red price label on it, it ended up only being .99 cents!

Also in this picture you can see the little tin spice cans. I originally bought these thinking my husband might want to use them, and by the looks of them, I think someone originally paid a pretty price for them. There are 24 of them altogether, all labeled with a sticker on top naming common spices, and in addition each one has a pretty hefty magnetic bottom with a strong stick. I picked them up because I'd seen many van-lifers use these magnetic containers for their spices and I thought my husband might want to do the same. But he seems pretty happy with his current set up, so now I'm thinking I might remove the stickers and rather than using them as spice containers I might fill them with small craft supplies like straight pins, safety pins, beads, etc. I'm hoping to set up a small work area in my bedroom when we move, or maybe somewhere else in the apartment, I haven't really decided. But since crafts supplies can make an area look a little busy, I'm not sure I would want it to be very focal in the main part of the house, I would prefer it be tucked away somewhere. But in any case, having organizational tools like this can help to mainstream some of that clutter and make things look a bit more presentable. These were $2.99, and as I said, they are so well made I feel that was a real bargain!

And finally, in the image on the right you can see more of the little spice tins as well as a little basket with the cute little wooden pine trees adorning it. I picked this up almost as soon as I walked in the door but went back and forth a couple of times before purchasing it. The reason for that is because I didn't like the look of the little pine trees on the ribbon around the middle, they were just a bit too whimsical for my liking. But then I remembered that I had some green and black checked ribbon at home about the same width that I thought would look very nice in place of it, and then when I got to check out and discovered that the $2.99 red price tag made it half off so $1.50!, all the better!

Under the basket, and also peeping out a bit in the other pictures is a wooden kleenex box cover. As my daughter and I both suffer from seasonal allergies, keeping kleenex handy has always been important, and I don't even want to admit to the amount of time I've spent looking for a design and color of box that would compliment our decor, and it almost always doesn't. But this box solves that problem and for .99, it will save me hours in the future! It's a little worse for wear and needs a little sanding and a coat of paint, but since my plan is to paint it black, that isn't a problem!

All total I spent $6.50, which I thought was a REAL bargain as I'm sure originally just one of these items was likely twice that alone!

So I hope you've enjoyed coming along with me on my little thrift shopping tour, and if you have I'll be sure to include more of them. I will be coming back in the coming days and weeks and sharing how I recrafted and repurposed each item, if you're interested, and if I can figure out how to sell items from right here on my blog, this might be an avenue I employ to do that. So who knows, something might catch your eye here one day and end up in your home!

Until then I hope you have a lovely start to your week. I'll be back later this week with my thoughts on the practice of silence and solitude, how I'm incorporating it into my day and how the Lord has already begun to use it in my life, so I hope you'll join me!