Flip Flop

I use to be extremely afraid of death, I mean even the mention of the word and I would go ballistic. Then January 2008 my sister that raised me died, well I’m jumping ahead of the story, so I will start at the beginning.
I didn’t know Mary, my next to the eldest sister was sick until my sister Lillian called me and told me that she had cancer, and the Doctor was calling in the family. She said every family member were taking turns caring for her as she refused to spend her last days in the hospital. I immediately started making arrangements to move to North Carolina where she was living to do my part.
I stayed with Mary all through the week so I had first hand experience on death, spiritual strength, and losing my fear of death. I owe it all to Mary, my sister.
I arrived at her house October 4, 2010, and thank God I got to spend 3 months with her before she died. I questioned her so much about death and even told her my fears, which she already knew about. She calmed me with her words and strength. She had no fear whatever. She even apologized about asking the other sisters and family members not to tell me about her illness.
I live in Louisville, Kentucky and she was concerned that the shock of her illness would be to much for me to bare so far away and no family around to comfort me. All I could think while she was talking was, “she is concerned about everyone else yet she is the one dying.”
Anyway on January 8th around 2:45 a.m. I was asleep on the sofa in the room where Hospice had set up for Mary, my other sisters and brother where sleeping in the same room on different pieces of furniture and even the floor. We had been informed by Hospice that she wouldn’t make it another day. She had begun turning color and doing what is called the death moan. A loud high pitched moan that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Then I heard her call my name, real soft. I opened my eyes and realized it was quiet, her moaning had stopped. Then I heard her call my name again, I could see her face clearly by the light of the street light shinning through the window. I got up and walked slowly to her bed and she reached out and took my hand and began to thank me for coming to be with her. The strange thing was as I was staring right at her mouth, I never once saw her lips move. Yet I could clearly hear her every word, with my heart.
I slowly sat down in the chair beside her bed, and holding her hand I cried softly. As Mary finished talking she told me to write it all down, she said “you know how you always write poems, well put it in pretty words for me. Then she started moaning loudly again as if I were no longer there.
I went back to the sofa and silently cried myself to sleep.
That next day there was a different look about her, she no longer recognized anyone, and even her moaning was different.
Then around 1:54 in the afternoon Mary died while holding my hand.
I was sad to lose the sister that loved me above all others, the one that raised me along with her own children yet treated me no different. But there was no fear of death whatsoever.
After her body was removed my sister that I stayed with on the weekend and I returned to her house and around the same time, 2:45 a.m. I felt someone gently shaking me awake. Then I heard Mary’s voice say “Reks write it all down.”
I got up got pen and paper and begun to do as I was told even without fear. In the form of a poem: I call “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow”. Mary’s Whisper”

Early in the morning,
Mary whispered, “Reks come here.”
I have something to tell you,
But my words won’t be very clear.

I got up from the sofa,
And stood beside her bed.
I listened to every word,
That Mary’s heart whisper said.

She whispered real soft words,
Using just her heart.
She said,”this has come the time,
The day that I depart.”

I thank you baby for coming,
It wouldn’t have been the same.
Living so far away,
You wouldn’t have heard me whisper your name.

I sat down and held her hand,
I was afraid to just let go.
I didn’t want to tell her,
That her words had hurt me so.

I went throughout the morning,
Wondering when would be the time,
With Mary’s heart whispered words,
Weighing heavy on my mind.

I walked around and socialized,
Comforted family and friend.
Then I went back to Mary’s bed,
And felt that hurt again.

I thought of all the stages of death,
I’d read about in that book.
And realized her eyes,
Had taken that permanent look.

It was then I finally excepted,
My sisters going to die.
I rubbed her arm,held her hand,
And softly began to cry.

As Mary’s breathing shallower,
I saw her take her last breath.
Her heart whispered to me even then,
Not thinking of herself.

Cry baby sister, get it all out,
Your pain will ease some tomorrow.
Remember the words my heart whispered to you,
Because “Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow.”

After I finished writing sitting there at the kitchen table at my sisters house, I felt at peace. I lay my head down on the table and slept, no more tears.
Then I felt someone gently shaking me, I slowly awoke and my sister that I was staying with was standing there with my poem book in her hand and crying. She said she say the whole thing from when I walked over to Mary’s bed and even when Mary reached up and took my hand. She said she felt that it was an out of body spiritual experience so she kept quiet.

So the FLIP FLOP in my life is no more fear of death. Only a peaceful elation that there is a joy in another side of life.

Thank you, Creativeliving 1 Single Mother

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Double Compost Barrels And Spinner Rack

SUPPLIES LIST:

2-20 gallon barrels
2-5/8″IDx1/2″ wall R3.2 25/50 fm (092362)
1 3/4 inch hole saw bit
1/8 inch drill bit
2- 3″ 7.6cm hinges
Power drill 2 drawer catches
2- 5/16×1 3/8×2 1/2 inch u-shaped screws with bolts
2- 10x32x2 inch screws with bolts
2-7/8″ 10d sinker
4- 1 1/4 inch PVC spacer/coupler
1- 1 inch x 5ft PVC pipe
2- 2x6x8 top choice boards
1/2 gallon rust oleum paint (optional) exterior weather resistant
Scissors
Tape measure
Philip screw driver
Hand saw or skill saw

DOUBLE COMPOST BARRELS:

Using a hand saw or (saw of your choice) cut your barrels 3 inches from the top, this creates a lid for fill/empty access. Then cut your 5/8×1/2 inch wall 46 3/4 inches. Attach the wall strip to the barrel (make sure to position it correctly because once the adhesive connects it is impossible to re adjust it. Now attach the 3″ hinge right on top of the wall, drill your holes right through it. Attach the lid to the barrel, attach the drawer catch to the front of the lid play around with the bottom piece of the catch and adjust it so when hooked and snapped it pulls the lid tight to assure no spillage when spinning. Now you are ready to drill the holes for the 1 inch x 5ft PVC pipe. Using a 1 3/4 inch hole saw drill bit, drill your holes right in the center between the top and bottom of your barrel. This is for even spin when the tumbler is full of compost. If the holes are to close to the top, instead of spinning the barrel will just rock to and fro.
Now, unless you barrel is already dark, the next step is painting it a dark color. Dark colors draws heat and helps your compost material cook and break down quicker. All done with the com poster, now on to the spinner stand.
Cut your 2x6x8 inch boards in half 4ft each. Using your 1 3/4 inch hole saw bit, drill holes through 3 pieces of your 4 ft boards. ( save the 4th 4ft board for another project)
When you drill the holes be sure to leave plenty of room at the bottom for spinning. Cut your 2- 2x4x8 inch boards 47 3/4 inches, cut the 2 left over pieces 3 ft. These two 3 ft pieces will be your stabilizer legs. I have step by step building pictures that follow, it is easier to follow the pictures, this is a very easy project.

I got my barrels at the car detailing shop by my house, they were free. They use to contain armor all car wash solution. I had to take steps to make them food safe. First I rinsed them thoroughly with hot water until it ran clear. Next I filled them with hot water added 1/2 cup in each and let them soak for 48 hours. After this I rinsed again with hot water, and wash really good with a mild dish liquid. Again rinse thoroughly until water runs clear. Now fill this time using warm water and white distilled vinegar, let it sit over night. If the vinegar water solution is still clear by morning, the containers are food safe. But, if the water solution has a light brown color( like the color of really weak tea) their are still some wash solution and you should do the cleansing process again. Fortunately for me these washed out nicely and passed the food safe test.

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DIY Chore System

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Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. —Phyllis Diller

As every parent knows cleaning a house can be very tedious and time consuming. In order to run a good sufficient household it takes everyone’s involvement. Within my home I have tried numerous chore system that turn out to be a FAIL. Through out the trail and error process of finding the right system I have learned a few things. The most important one is that children love structure! Just like adults children thrive in an environment with a schedule, as long as the schedule is not to complex.

Today I want to share with you the most successful chore system that I have created for my children. The directions and supplies are very simple. So lets get crafting!

SUPPLIES:

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– Hot glue gun
– Printer paper (various colors)
– A sheet of notebook paper
– Colored ink pens
– Velcro
– Laminating machine
– Twine (or another type of string)
– Thumb tacks
– Paper clips
– 2 Medium sized envelopes as well as 2 per child ( I used 3 5/8″ x 6 1/2″)
– An easy access sturdy place to hang the system
– Scissors
– Knife/ box cutter
– Glue

Directions:

1.) Plug up and turn on your laminating machine. Take the sheet of notebook paper and walk around your home. Write down every chore that your child can or will learn to complete. This inventory process will narrow down the chores for your system.
2.) Write down the chores on a white sheet of printer, I used colorful pens just to make the chores pop off the paper.
3.) Cut out the chores in the shape of a square. Glue the chore to a different colored piece of paper and cut out a larger square shape. This will frame the chore. See picture below.

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4.) Use a white piece of printer paper write To Do and Finished. Write To do and Finished for every child. I assigned a specific color for each child it made the system a lot more organized. Once you finish writing cut out the words, glue and arrange them in the same way as step 3. Once you’ve framed the To do and Finished glue them onto the envelopes. See picture below.

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5.) Take two envelopes and write Chores on one and Stars or stickers on the other. I used the stars because I did not want to replace the reward charts every week. See picture below.

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6.) Plug up your hot glue gun so that it can heat up. The stars are made by simply drawing 7 small stars in the color assigned for that child. Once the stars are drawn cut them out as small as you can. Approximately the size of a sticker. See picture below.

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7.) Fold a piece of printer paper into fourths. Cut out one section per child. Write your child’s name at the top center using their assigned color. This will be their reward chart.

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*****Ignore the Velcro, that step comes later*****
8.) Laminate everything from step 3-6. Cut out everything that you laminated making sure to cut in precise straight lines.
9.) Use a box cuter or scissors/ knife/ or box cutter to cut the open ending of the envelope. See picture below.

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*****Ignore the twine, that step comes later*****
10.) Grab your twine and make a loop. (Make sure you do not make the loop to long or your envelopes will hang to low). Hot glue a piece of twine shaped like a loop onto the back of all the to do and finished envelopes, as well as everything in steps 4, 5 and 7. See picture below.

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*****😏Ignore the dried up glue on the gun*****
11.) Stick a paper clip onto the twine of all the loops. Pull the paper clip apart just a littel to make it easier to hang. See picture below.

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12.) Use your hot glue gun to glue the velcro to the back of all the stars, and reward charts. Making sure the Velcro sides match the Velcro that it will stick to on the reward charts. See picture below.

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13.) Find a good place to hang your chore system. I choose the basement door connected to my kitchen because of the easy access. Hammer or stick tacks through the door, choose whatever flow you wish. See picture below.

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14.) Place all chores into the chore envelope, and all of the stars into the star envelope.
15.) Hang all of the envelopes and charts by their paper clips on the tacks. Than your chore system is complete!!!! See pictures below.

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How The System Works

In our home a new chore is usually assigned daily, to go along with each child’s daily chores. The daily chores are simple task such as making their bed, hanging up their back packs, or brushing their teeth. The chore envelopes are used to keep track of what needs to be done by each individual child. When the children finish breakfast it’s usually daily chore time. The chores that I place in the envelopes get completed after snack in the evening. Which for my youngest 3 year old daughter includes placing all of the dogs toys in his bin. You know simple quick chores like that. Once the to do chores are complete they will place them into the finished envelopes. At the end of the day each child is given a star if all of their to do chores are complete and placed into their finished envelopes. Once 7 stars are on their reward chart they are allowed to get something out of the treasure chest. Which is not always on a Sunday or Friday. We do not start over every week because I felt as though it was to harsh to say all their hard work 2 days ago doesn’t matter on Friday when they only have 4 out of 7 stars. So I let the stars roll over each week, unless it becomes to repetitive. For info on the treasure chest continue reading.

REWARDS (Optional)

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In my house rewards are given to each child once they have a weeks worth of stars on their rewards sheet. I brought a treasure chest from Walmart and filled it with an array of toys, games and prizes. Occasionally I will add sweet treats like fruit snacks, lolly pops and bubble gum. A great idea is to fill it with party favor items. Party favor packs work very well, especially if you have more than one child.

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I hope the chore system I’ve created works just as well in your home as it does in ours.

What’s to be expected

This first blog post is just the beginning of many post. Before I begin I would like to break down the content that will be on my blogging site. Within this blog I really want to focus on content that you the reader as well as I enjoy. So please feel free to leave request, as well as participate in the weekly polls, which will be derived from the request and comments I receive.
The categories on my site will include (but are not limited to)…

– Organic Living:
~ Gardening techniques as well as tutorials on how I maintain my little patch of Earth.
~ Review on various organic products, as well as a haul…or two 😉
*As I embark on this life change please do not hesitate to educate me on what you guys know about living organically.

– Kitchen creations: Cooking has always been a passion of mine. I cant wait to share that passion with you!
~ Recipes and cooking tutorials
~ Bi- weekly reviews
~ Holiday/ party meal planning
~ Kitchen organization tips

– Home Management: As a single mother task around the house can pile up. Learn how I simplify these and make life easer for my family.
~ Home maintenance (repairs & up keeps)
~ House management binder setups
~ DIY tutorials

– Parenting: This category will contain all things related to parents.