Forgetting Susan

I had written this very long soliloquy inside my mind that was intended to be posted here, but with each passing day, I put it off to the side and mulled on it instead.  Now, here I am, two days past the actual day I wanted to reference to begin with.  A writer’s procrastination;  Nothing new.
This is sounding like a much bigger deal than it really is, so I’ll just state what has been on my mind this month.   You see, November 10, 2010, my first novel was published.  I signed a three year contract with a small publishing company who had accepted my query letter & manuscript.  It was a thrilling day, full of possibilities in the future.  It was the beginning of my writing…career?  endeavor?  Whichever. 
But, if you did the simple math, then you may have already assumed that the book, is no longer being published.  In that case, your assumptions are correct.
For the last few months, I’ve wondered what I should do now.  Do I write another book?  Should I spruce up Forgetting Susan,  and attempt to have it published by one of the big six publishing companies?  The process of finding a literary agent again…I don’t want to even think about it.  Literary agents should be outlawed.  That’s all I have to say about it.
I have a lot I want to say about this book.  Like how I never really wanted to promote it.  Maybe it is the writer in me, but after I sat down and tried re-reading my own book after it was published, I became mortified.  I wanted to change or omit something from every page.  I wanted to take the book and lock it away in the attic for safe keeping from the public. I think the story itself is good, it is my writing that makes me shudder!!  Practice, practice, practice.  I should have practiced my writing skills more before I attempted to write a book…or at least before trying to have it published.  I have no idea how it managed to become published, but I figure it is just want God wanted for me at the time!
So.  What should I do?  My husband still thinks this book is awesome, (thanks babe) and wants me to pursue it further.  I just don’t know if I have it in me.  Building an audience is hard, and I don’t have the extra dollars right now to put my name out there.  Know what I mean? 
Okay.  Even with all that I’ve said, I will be joining eleven other local authors at the county library to showcase/sell our books, and engage with the public.  Even though my book is no longer being published, I still have a lot of promo books on hand that can either be sold or given away.  I haven’t decided yet.  I think I should give them away, but that is just my nature.  My husband says, sell!  We’ll see.
Thanks for listening! 
Liz  

When You Know, You Know

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Today is the Tuesday that marks our eighth anniversary, and I Love you.

I’ll love you tomorrow, and the next day, and next week, and even next month.

In six months, I will still love you, just like I fell in love with you nine years ago.

In sixty years, I’ll look back on our beginning, and smile at how much I’ve loved you and how far we’ve made it in life together.

Happy Anniversary, Bubba.

~Elizabeth

 

Mail Delivery

It feels rare to receive something for free in the mail these days, but a couple of days ago, it happened.  Even so, I can’t keep the package for myself.  It will soon be on its way to Texas to a dear friend of mine who recently delivered her second child.

(And if you are the said friend, then please stop reading. It will spoil the surprise. lol.)

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What is in the package, you ponder?  It is a few Spark Cards that a New Jersey-ian named Hillary is sending out for FREE.  She hopes the cards will encourage conversations between other mothers, and then leave them behind for others to find and use.  Spreading the free gift, if you will.  Have you heard of Hillary from the, Longest Shortest Time?  Her podcasts range from humorous to heartfelt and will make the days that you feel totally insane—sane, after all.  Her primary message is that no matter what phase of motherhood you’re in, you’re not alone in the trials you may be going through. 

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If you’re interested in her podcast, you can easily find her on iTunes.  I use this app for my podcasts.

If you want your own spark cards delivered to your mailbox, then you can find the form here.

If you want to know more about why she does what she does, then go here.

Just for the record, I don’t know Hillary, and she has no idea that I’m writing this. I just think she is cool. 🙂

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Thoughts & A Recipe

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It’s blazing hot outside, but I can’t be bothered by details.  I had to make myself a cup of hot chocolate while I dream of cooler days.  I can’t help it.  Summer just isn’t my season.  To add more insult to summer, I also made a large pot full of hearty chicken soup.

 

Ahh…summer.  You can leave now; and take your humidity with you.

 

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On other topics, I actually have quite a bit that I want to say.  I just haven’t been spitting them out.  Does that happen to you?  I do plan on talking about my failing vegetable garden, and the homeschooling programs we are using, for those who are curious.  I also have a pretty touchy topic to discuss when it comes to our real life friends and family.  It really is an over due explanation that a particular few have patiently, and not so patiently, been waiting to read.  I feel like it will be the post that can answer all the questions and if they ever pop up with another question, then I can state, “Read the blog! It’s all there!”.   

 

Annnd, just as soon as I get a grip on my procrastination, I will sit down and type it all out.

 

But while I sit here, sipping on my leftover hot coco, I want to wrap up my post with this:  Today, I’ve felt very enlightened within my faith, and it feels great to have understanding and knowledge of Christ.  It brings me to a place of peace that I didn’t feel when I lived life without him.  I feel blessed that my son has the same realization at such a young age, whereas it took me until adulthood.

 

Now for the easy recipe that my title hints at: I hope you enjoy it.

 

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nostalgia & a broken heart

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My heart broke today. Not for a person; for nostalgia. It’s funny, I never imagined handwritten letters, such a common skill, could become close to ceasing its existence. Writing is my love language, but handwriting letters is an impalpable love of mine. There is something about scribbling words onto a crisp sheet of paper that someone could possibly hold onto forever.

 

In case you’re wondering what brought this on. It is simple, really. I was in need of new stationary. Good old fashioned set of plain quality paper with envelopes. I went to five different stores and couldn’t find anything except for notecards. Beautiful as they are, it is not letter paper that can hold a beaucoup of scrawled words.

 

While visiting the last store, I asked if they could order what I was looking for. He politely replied with, “…no one writes letters anymore.”

 

I was instantly bummed out. And no, he could not order it because they no longer sold stationary.

 

There are a few specialty stores, but their paper is extremely expensive, so I suppose it is back to college ruled notebooks for my recipients.

Breaking The Period Taboo

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That’s right.  I’m going there.

 

Aunt Flow.

Crimson Tide.

The Curse.

Period.

 

Call it what you will;  it is an inevitable rite of passage to womanhood.

It’s also a topic that as my friend and I once put it, the sort of thing that makes you plug yours ears and sing, la la la la la la, until the person stopped the torture.

 

I don’t know to many women in my life who have felt comfortable talking about the very thing that turns us into a woman, let alone tell their story of the first time they received their period, until I recently read a book appropriately titled, My Little Red Book.

 

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Until I read this, I didn’t realize that most stories of women’s transition in to womanhood was not as thrilling as they thought it would be.  Which is a relief, because the story of “my first” could have easily made it into this book.

 

So what exactly does this book have to say?

 

Here is the skinny:  It is a miscellany of stories of first periods written by women of all ages, of all backgrounds, and from all corners of the world. Some of the stories are hilarious, mortifying, stoic, and almost heroic. 

 

Things I didn’t realize:  That there have been many myths associated with periods.  In fact, one father told her daughter she could not work in the garden while on her period because it would kill the plants.  Scientists tried to prove this theory but failed.  Duh.   

 

Overall:  I think the author’s purpose for writing this book is hoping for a change in attitude and perception on how we talk about our periods, especially to our daughters.  I feel as though she hopes that it will bring mothers and daughters to the table and begin talking to each other, because lets face it;  Girls have a lot of questions, even if they don’t ask.

 

So I have to ask.  Are you bold enough to tell your first period story to a public audience?

Beginning With A Blanket

I’m in the beginning stages of knitting my very first blanket.  I’m sure this is the first post, of probably many, concerning this throw.  It seems easy enough, but the fact that I have never knitted such a large piece before, I have a feeling that I may become overwhelmed at times. 
Even so, I am really excited to get it started and to have something I can cuddle with this Fall season.
As for the hat; I finished it last night.  I thought I would finish it sooner than that, but life dealt a different set of cards for me this past week that didn’t involve knitting.  This hat if for my husband, but I had my son model it for you today, since Bubba was busy mowing the lawn.  He did a nice job playing my model, haha.  
It is sort of funny that the last hat I made, that was for a child, I was the model.  And this hat, made for an adult, my child modeled. HA!  Go figure. 
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So the hat came out the way it was supposed to be.  It only took 4 tries.  I still have a little trouble “sewing” the ends together, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it one day.  The pattern wasn’t my favorite.  If I redid it, (Lord help me!)  I would do the whole hat in the k3, p7 pattern.  Any way. It is finished.  That is all that matters to me at the moment.  By-the-way, if you’re wondering, the hat is a slouchy hat.  I purchased this book for the pattern.
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This is a crummy picture, but the yellow yarn is for the blanket and the blue yarn is for Nate’s hat.
Until next time,
Liz
PS~ I’m reading a book called, The Mailbox.  It is a christian book based on the real life mysterious mailbox that sits on a North Carolina Beach that has an anonymous guardian.  I’ll tell you more about it next time because today, I’m not feeling very well.  Boo. 
Linking up with the lovely, Ginny, today

I’ll Be Seeing You :: Free Throw Blanket Pattern

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Before I begin rambling about my knitting, I want to express a few things about this book I finished called, I’ll Be Seeing You.  Girls…this book…it is good.  It breathed new life into my book reading funk.  This book romanced me, made me cry, made me feel nostalgic, and it certainly makes me miss the lost art of writing and receiving letters.  I hope you will check it out.  I found mine at the local library. 
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Now onto the knitting.  This hat for my husband has finally picked up speed.  I’m not sure why, but I just wasn’t in the mood to sit down and knit for awhile.  But now I am halfway finished, and could probably finish it within the next two days.  This is the same pattern that I tried and miserably failed, not once, not twice, but three times.  I wasn’t going to give up though.  Everything is going great with it, so I guess I can say that the fourth time is the charm! 
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After I finish this, I will be starting on this blanket, in hopes that I will have a nice throw for the Fall season.  I figure this color, might be nice for it.  I’ll let you know when I start it.  I will also be working on a new hat for Nate.  I suppose that is it this time around!
By-the-way, this throw blanket is a FREE download, and it looks nice. 
Linking up with, Ginny.
Always,
Liz

Does It Really Work? Living On Less Series

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for two+ years now, and I’ve tried five different recipes, before landing on the one I’ve used for the last year.   

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Because I get asked frequently, Does it really work, I figured I would answer it here.  YES!  It really works, it smells fabulous (You’ll see why in the ingredients), and it only takes 10 minutes to put together.  I don’t suggest washing your delicates; I feel you should stick with Woolite or the drycleaners for those, but for your everyday clothes…this is just as good as the store bought stuff, without the price. DSC_0317_edited-1

  A little bit of my experiences…

At first, I tried using the liquid kind, since I had always bought liquid detergent at the store.  However, the mess of it all, along with the goop it created once it hardened…I knew I had to try something else.  Then I tried another liquid recipe, but it was still a hassle to make and keep multiple jugs handy, etc.   

DSC_0327_edited-1Thus, began my hunt for the perfect dry laundry detergent.  Although all the recipes I found for it cleaned my clothes well, it always lacked that good smell.  Know what I mean?  Sure I added lavender extract, among others, but it wasn’t the same.  I also wanted a little extra cleaning boost…so, after many recipes and many trial and errors, I think I have finally perfected our laundry detergent, enough so, that I haven’t changed it since I created it one year ago.
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Liz’s DIY Laundry Detergent
Makes roughly 8-10 cups
Here it is:
2 ivory soap bars (unscented, original)
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Super Washing Soda
1 cup of regular baking soda
1 cup of Oxi Clean
1/2 – 1 cup of Downy Unstoppable Beads (optional) You can also use 3+ tablespoons of lavender extract.

Method:

Grate the Ivory soap using a cheese grater.   Then mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container.  I use a glass jar that I purchased from Walmart for $5.  And because it is humid here in the southeast, I made a rice sachet to place inside the jar to keep the detergent from clumping. 
Put about 1 Tablespoon per/load or adjust to size/dirtiness of load.  I usually sprinkle in 2 tablespoons though.
DSC_0339_edited-1To make the rice sachet, use some fabric, sock, or cheesecloth, and fill it with a little rice, then tie the loose ends together.

Annnnd, because I just can’t help it, here a few lovable outtakes…

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Hello, Happy

Jessi, from The Hummingbird Memoirs, proposed the idea to participate in a series on her blog that challenged me to find doses of joy in a regular day, and then document them through the lens of a camera.  How could I pass up an opportunity like that?  Above is a snippet of the post.  You can see the rest of it here.  I do hope you take the time to hop over and read it; just don’t be surprised if you fall in love with her blog; your eyes will become lost in her photos! Plus, she offers so many homemade beauty products that have me inspired enough to start a facial regime. 
Happy reading, folks! 
And if you’re wanting the link again, click here.