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Archive for November, 2010

Last night, as I was reading inspirational Christmas stories in a magazine, my mind drifted to my own Christmases past. I felt so much joy as I recalled wonderful times. I had a few chuckles too. Memories are so wonderful to share. You know, they can be a real inspiration to others. Would you like to tell about a special Christmas time right here?   All you need to do it type it up in the Comments below.   Go ahead and inspire someone today.  Don’t worry about spelling and grammar.

Here is a memory that warms my heart and makes me laugh.

On Christmas Eve, when the younger children (& grandchildren) were just put to bed, Dad would go into the pantry and bang on the wall – making all kinds of ruckus. Mom would play along and say frantically “Andy, what is all that noise!”   Dad would holler back “I don’t know Sheila, maybe its Santa and his reindeer on the roof!”  Then he would add something like “I think Santa is coming down the chimney”. Mom and Dad managed to fool the younger children over and over again. What I find amusing now is that we never had a chimney but this never stopped the children from believing.

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Ladies, there was a time when getting adequate sleep was a problem for me. Sleep interruptions were caused mainly from noise and light. Studies show that getting your seven to eight hours of sleep will benefit your memory, weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health and immunity. Achieving a good night’s sleep can reap many health and mental benefits – so you may need to create your own environment. For a number of years now, I have had very few sleep issues.  I sleep approximately 8 ½ hours per night soundly. Here are 4 things that work really well for me:

1). Sounds Therapy Machine – I’ve found that a sound therapy machine has calming and natural sounds that effectively absorb all unwanted and unnecessary noise that interfere with my sleep. I use the Obus Forme machine (about 30.00) and have had the same machine for many years. I rotate between ‘running water’ and ‘white noise’. Using a relaxation machine helps me to fall asleep faster and wake completely rested.

2). Sleep Mask – I’ve found that street lamps; security lights; and the illumination from my clock give off light that impact my sleep. The early morning light coming through the curtains is an interruption also. Therefore, I use a sleep mask. A sleep mask makes a bedroom appear darker and contributes to a better sleep.

3). Open the window – I open the window about a 1/8 of inch all year long (weather permitting), in order to get more fresh air in the room.

4). Bed Time Routine –  I go to bed about the same time each week night. I relax and unwind by reviewing the good things from my day and reading something inspirational. It is helpful if the time before bed is a time of peace and quiet.

I can not stress enough how important sleep is for you, so if you are having problems, please determined what will work for you.  Sweet dreams.

(By the way, our bedroom is our personal sanctuary so there is no place in our room for night time distractions such as:  games, work, TV watching, computer or clutter)

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An easy; fast; and inexpensive DIY decorating project that I have tried, and that has worked out very well, is sewing cushion covers. Cushions add a new look to any room instantly.  I went through a phase of buying various cushions, but storage became a problem. I decided to sew a few covers to put over existing cushions. Now, when I change the covers for a new look, I store the unused covers in a drawer. Having made a few sets now, I am really pleased with the outcome. Also, I purchase the fabric at the end of a season in order to get a good price. Here are easy instructions to change the look of a room quickly:

Supplies

Sewing machine

Pillow form – or use an existing cushion

Thread to match fabric

Fabric – Front – upholstery fabric.

Fabric – Back – upholstery fabric.

Velcro

Note: when pressing fabric, do not place iron directly on the fabric. Place a t-towel on the fabric and iron the t-towel – to prevent damaging the upholstery fabric.

Measure:

Measure your pillow form or cushion and subtract one inch from the length and width measurement (to allow for a snug fit). For example, if your form/cushion is 16 X 16 then subtract one inch from the length and width for tight fit (15 X 15). Add ½ inch to each side for seam allowance (16 X 16). We are back to the original measurement.  Add 7  inches to the back piece (for the overlap). Using the above example, the dimensions will be 16 X 16 for one front piece and 16 X 23 for one back piece. Cut your fabric to the correct dimensions.

Form the overlap (opening) in the BACK fabric:


Fold the back piece in half.  Iron to form a crease. Using the above example again, the measurement is now 16 X 11 ½ when folded.  Cut fabric in half along the crease. You now have 2 pieces of back fabric -16 X 11 ½ inches each.  Fold the 11 ½ inch right side under ½ inches to wrong side. Sew down.  Fold right side under another 1 inch to wrong side. Sew. Press. Repeat for the other 16 X 11 ½ piece. You now have 2 back pieces measuring 16 X 10. Place one back piece over the other back piece – right sides together. Overlap the 1 “seams at the centre, until the two pieces together now measure 16 X 16 “- not 16 X 20.   Pin. Baste together. (This forms the opening in the back of the back piece).


Complete –

With right sides together, sew front 16 X 16 piece to back 16 X 16 piece – ½ “ seam.  Trim corners. Push out corners with knitting needle or pencil.

Press. Turn to right side. Press.  Determine where you would like to place the Velcro for the closure. Pin in place. Sew. Insert your form/cushion. Close. The cover should be a little snug. You are done.

(Velcro – I used 2 strips on 2” for each cushion)

Variation – if you would like to make a cover without an opening then follow these instructions.

Measure your pillow form with a tape measure. Do not rely on the measurement on the packaging. Subtract ½ inch from each side (to allow for a snug fit). For example, if your form/cushion is 16 X 16 then subtract ½ inch from the length and width for tight fit (15 X 15). With right sides together sew ½ inch seam all around. I like to use a very small zigzag. Leave about an 8 inch opening (a space large enough to stuff your form/cushion inside).  Trim corners. Push out corners with knitting needle or pencil. Press. Turn cover to right side.  Press. Stuff form/cushion into cover. Work cushion down to corners. Hand sew opening closed.  You’re done.

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It is so important to express gratitude to your mother (or mother in law or a woman of influence).  If your relationship with your mom is a little turbulent now, it’s vital you get the pen out right away.  As I was sorting through my moms belongings, I came across a few notes that I had written to her over the years. They were notes that expressed the gratitude I was feeling towards her.  For example, here are the words I wrote during a very difficult time in her life and on her 71 birthday:

Hi Mom,

This year is a year of new beginnings for you. Thanks for all the sacrificesyou made for all of us throughout your life. You endured a lot of hardship when we were young in order to keep our family together. I wish you happiness like you have not had before in all your years. Love you, Linda

I found this note, and others like it, in her top dresser drawer. I like to think they brought her comfort over and over again.  Ladies please, write your mom a note today.  I can’t think of a richer gift really.

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I’m wondering if you’re making your own general purpose cleaner.  I’ve been using this mixture for sometime now and I really like it. I like to keep bottles in the kitchen, bathroom and shower.  It’s inexpensive; easy to make; smells nice; and cleans wonderfully. I think you’ll like it if you give it a try.

½ tsp baking soda

2 tsp Borax

½ tsp liquid dish soap

2 cups hot water

Mix and put in spray bottles

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