Saturday, March 27, 2010

Kids and Various Sporting Activities

I had a conversation once with a woman who has three kids all involved in simultaneous multiple sporting activities. While secretly being thankful I was not in her shoes, I made a mental note of her tip for keeping all these activities straight. She charted two weeks' worth of her family's schedule on a dry erase board. Each child, sporting activity, time, place, and which parent would take the child were included. She claimed it was the only way possible to not miss a sporting event.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Emerging from the Winter Season

Note: This post was inspired by my divorce and emotional healing years ago. I hope it illustrates the choice we have whether to be bitter or better. Although the choice is ours, the Lord completes the process and provides the healing. It is truly astonishing what the Lord can accomplish in us when we allow it.

It has been a long, hard winter here in Oklahoma and in many other locations. The early blooming flowers are such a welcome sight. Usually when I first notice my early bloomers, the flower beds still have the old, dead vegetation and a carpet of old leaves. Then, I have the incentive to clear them out as I do not want the new growth hindered. Also, I can view two flower beds from my kitchen windows and it is difficult to see the new flowers appearing through the old vegetation, which is also unsightly.

We all have winter periods in our lives that sometimes last months or years, but spring always comes. Particularly when emerging from hurtful situations with other people, such as a divorce, it is best to take what we can learn out of the situation and go forward without dwelling on what has transpired. It reminds me of the flower beds - embrace the new season and get rid of the dead, useless, and unsightly stuff (our negative emotions, unforgiveness, bitterness) that may hinder us. Voltaire stated "Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."

With the Lord's assistance during and emerging from a winter season is the cleanest way one can come through. By prayer and reading the Bible (I especially like the Psalms during difficult times), He will heal your hurts and wounds and clear out the unsightly stuff. While you may feel like a dead, dry, brittle flower, He will help you have the ability to bloom again.

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on. . . Philippians 3:14 NIV

This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays at

Saturday, March 13, 2010


In the book It's Here Somewhere by Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch, the authors discuss simplifying the home. This strategy is discarding duplicate and worn out items. For example, they believe in having one set of measuring cups, one spatula, etc. I appreciate this idea, with the exception of preferring an extra set of measuring cups and spoons while cooking and baking. When preparing more than one dish, I'm too lazy to stop, wash, and reuse.

Fulton and Hatch state that simplifying the home will reduce clutter and confusion and creates order. And, of course, the basic rule of organizing is grouping like items together. A few years ago, while cleaning out garage cabinets I found five putty knives all in different places. This is one way that being unorganized costs money and time - you either don't realize you have a certain item or can't find an item you have, so you buy another one.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Should a Woman Buy Like a Man?

An interesting article entitled "Why It Costs More to be a Woman" by M.P. Dunleavey is featured on (link is This piece reported the January issue of Consumer Reports compared six different health and beauty aids that are available in his and her versions, as well as neutral and feminine concoctions. The result of this comparison is that products specifically marketed for women can cost more than 50% extra. The article further stated many insurance companies charge women higher premiums (especially women of childbearing age) and mentioned the disparity in earnings between men and women. This article sparked a host of comments relating to male/female debates, which did not interest me. Of interest were the useful postings interspersed between the heated debate comments.

I gleaned some notable tips from the comments, and the Consumer Reports blog "Marketing the Same Products to Men and Women" mentioned in the article. For instance, someone reported that a Clinique sales clerk confessed that M Lotion for Men is the same product as Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. The Dramatically Different product has been widely touted over the years as one of Clinique's best sellers. M Lotion for Men costs a little more than half than the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion!

Another posting stated a mother used men's Rogaine because the women's version cost more, but was the same chemically. Another woman bought a pair of Born shoes in the boys' department to wear with jeans. One female commenter stated men's cold weather clothes are more durable for outside chores and less expensive than women's. One post reported that Correctol laxative, which is marketed for women, has the same active ingredient as Dulcolax, although the price differential, if any, was not known. Commonly mentioned were men's razors, razor blades, and shaving gel being less expensive. Some women have the knack to shave with nothing but soap and finish unscathed. I am not one of those - my legs would appear to have been involved in a cat fight! I prefer the cheapest hair conditioner to shave with as it is the less expensive option and does not dry my skin like shaving gel.

This article provided some food for thought and I would consider some male products, as long as a manly scent is not included!