Category Archives: real life


According to Wikipedia:

Selah (Hebrew: סֶלָה‎, also transliterated as selāh) is a word used 74 times in the Hebrew Bible that means GOD HAS SPOKEN.  – it used 71 times in the Psalms and three times in Habakkuk  – and is a difficult concept to translate. (It should not be confused with the Hebrew word sela‘ (Hebrew: סֶלַע‎) which means “rock.”) It is probably either a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like “stop and listen”. Selah can also be used to indicate that there is to be a musical interlude at that point in the Psalm. The Amplified Bible translates selah as “pause, and think of that”. It can also be interpreted as a form of underlining in preparation for the next paragraph.

I used to wince at red lights. Okay, I’d more than wince. I’d complain, usually inwardly, but sometimes aloud. “Oh, no!” you’d hear me say. “Not another red light!” And truthfully, sometimes it seemed (or seems) that I’d hit one red light after another. “These lights are so badly timed,” I’d grouse. I’d fret about poor fuel efficiency. I’d worry about being — not just late, but — later.

I have a bad habit of being too much of an optimist, not allowing extra time in transit for such things as red lights, construction, traffic jams, and that’s the kind of thing that makes you late. I’m getting better…

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand. One day, while sitting at a red light, it came to me. Stewing was a poor use of my time. Did it get me anything? (Other than aggravated, that is.) No. Obviously.

What if I were to use red lights profitably? How could I use them profitably?

Give thanks in all things. While it may seem silly to you, it came to me (while sitting at a red light) that I could be using red lights as a time to praise. To meditate on Scripture. To contemplate my blessings. To give thanks. (See 1 Thess. 5:18 and Eph. 5:20)

The idea of “selah” seemed to fit. I’d heard a definition of “selah” in a sermon some time ago; the preacher had called it a time to pause and reflect on what had just been said (in the Psalm we were reading), or the deep breath before the dive into the next section, or both.

Practicing “selah-ness” at red lights has totally changed my driving attitude. Now instead of an “oh, no!” reaction to a yellow light announcing a red soon to follow, I (usually) am reminded that God is there in the midst of my busyness, my hurry. It’s a sort of tug on my spirit, a signal to slow down and think about what’s really important.

I’m sure it’s done my blood pressure some good, too.

Could you do me a favor, please?

If you are subscribed to, or following this blog (Google, Yahoo, Networked Blogs, etc.) could you please hop over to the new blog and subscribe/follow there? I’m in the process of migrating over there and I’d love to keep in touch with you!

Home Sweet Home(school)’s new home!

If you’re not subscribed or following, I’d be glad to welcome you, too!

(Sadly, the “Followers” widget isn’t working just now, but hopefully that’ll get cleared up soon.)

Thanks! Hope to see you over there. I’ll keep updating both blogs for awhile, but I hope to transition entirely to the new blog eventually.

If you prefer the look of this blog to the new one (this one is plainer than the new one, without a lot of color) please let me know.

Natural homemade deodorant

Perhaps you’ve read about all the uses for vinegar, besides salad dressing. It’s a great degreaser and mild sanitizer, for one thing. Mix it half-and-half with water and you can wash windows or kitchen counters or other surfaces.

Did you know that apple cider vinegar used to be used as a deodorant in the olden days?

I’d been having trouble for years with allergies. I’d try one formulation, and it would work for awhile, and then I’d get an itchy rash in my underarm area. Very uncomfortable, as you can imagine! I’d switch to another, and either it wouldn’t work (ah, don’t you just hate deodorant failure?), or a few weeks or months after switching, the itchy rash would resurface, and it would be time to switch again.

Mind you, these were just deodorants! I had sworn off antiperspirants even earlier, after reading about the connection between aluminum and Alzheimer’s. But how can you get along in our society with… to put it delicately, more or less… B.O.?

(European society, at least as I recall it, wasn’t quite as uptight about odor as American society. But we live in a place now where people shower daily, sometimes oftener — especially if they are runners or bikers — and everyone seems to use deodorant, except perhaps the homeless among us.)

After natural crystal deodorant went the same route as the others (It’s not fair! it’s natural, for goodness’ sake! Or maybe not for goodness’ sake. It didn’t do me any good, after awhile.) I was getting desperate.

Then I remembered something I’d read in an old-fashioned book, about elderly women smelling faintly of vinegar. (Not because they were elderly, per se, but as they were elderly they were more old-fashioned in their methods.) I began to wonder…

…and then I began to experiment.

To make a long story short, I’ve found that cider vinegar in a 4 oz. spray bottle works very well indeed. It even smells fairly nice, as I add ten drops or so of lavender and lemon essential oils to each batch I make up.

It works about as well as any commercial product I’ve used, and better than a lot of them. The vinegar smell wears off soon after spraying, leaving just a faint whiff of lavender and lemon behind. The effect lasts all day long.

So if you’re desperate to smell fresh, and unable to use anything but rather expensive natural products (and maybe can’t even use those), try apple cider vinegar. Add a little of your favorite essential oil to personalize it, and you’re on your way.

Still plugging away

Was up very late last night reinstalling software (after our hard disk failed last week, and we got a new one). It might have been better just to buy a new computer, except for the fact that this one runs Vista and people keep telling me we can’t just transfer all our stuff over to Windows 7, because it won’t work under Windows 7.

What ever happened to backwards-compatability?

Time to get off the computer now and start dinner.

One thing I’ve got to say about being without a computer, I sure had a chance of getting a lot more done. At least, a lot more different stuff. I’m way behind on writing, but we’ve managed to get a fair amount of yardwork in on the sunny days this week.

Late nights make slow mornings

I’m tired. (What a way to start a blog post…)

I’ve got a list of errands and chores half as long as my arm. The girls are moving very slowly, too (except for Eldest, who is out for coffee with a friend). If at all.

We had a late night last night, didn’t get home until after 10, and what with one thing and another I think bedtime was achieved somewhere around 11. This, on top of a busy day, full of activities.

I’m so glad we didn’t go to FreeGeek yesterday. While I love the idea of the girls working on a community service project to earn computers of their own for schoolwork, chopping another 3 hours out of the day and going on still another errand on top of everything else we did yesterday… well, let’s just say I might be even more tempted to call today a down day.

I’ve already started cutting back the schedule.

Do you do that? Set up the “perfect” schedule (well, as good as you can make it before swinging into the actual flow of autumn events and classes), and then find you were too enthusiastic, or too optimistic perhaps, and then need to start pruning? Or else?

(“Or else,” for me, is my health. That bone-deep tiredness upon wakening from a night’s sleep is a warning of worse to come if I don’t mend my ways.)

Some weeks are busier than others, and those are the weeks where I’m cutting voluntary activities (like FreeGeek), things that aren’t set in stone. The girls will earn their computers a little slower, if they volunteer there only once or twice a month instead of every week, but our schedule will be saner.

Have called the younger girls twice. Um, maybe three times. Is it time for the bucket of cold water? Or mercy?

Razor blades and the cost of living

This is not about cutting costs. I wish…

Was in the warehouse store earlier this week, picking up school supplies (some great prices on binders! …we’ll see how sturdy they are…) and we walked past the Health and Beauty section. I was floored to see a display of razors — no, not even razors, but razor cartridges — they looked like something from outer space, with half a dozen blades per head (wow, I remember when a double-bladed razor was something else). It wasn’t the form that floored me, though. It was the price.

Nearly $50 for razor cartridges?

I try to leave razor shopping to dh, except for the pretty pink razors that we girls use for girlish reasons, so I had no idea that men’s razors had joined the space program. In cost, as well as appearance.

I knew that the cost of living is going up. But who’d ‘a’ thought that razor cartridges would be so great a contributor to the cost index? (Or have I been living in a vacuum all these years, and razors have been expensive all along?)

Speaking of living in a vacuum, I’m going to go and snuggle with the dog, sip a civilized cup of tea, and contemplate Greater Things for a bit.

So, what’s having an impact on your budget?


…did you start school this week?

Or are you still savoring the waning days of summer?

We got our oil changed yesterday. The tech happened to mention that his dad had told him we hadn’t had a summer like this since ’54. (Cold, late spring, cool summer, only two days above 90 degrees.)

I asked him what kind of winter had followed that summer. He got this thoughtful look on his face, and then answered. Cold. Lots of snow.

I got this feeling, like in The Long Winter (one of the Little House books), the chapter where the old Indian (that’s the term used in the book, I know the PC term) walks into the store to warn the little pioneer community of the severity of the winter to come. Hmmm. Heap big snow, eh?

Perhaps it’s time to lay in the supplies for the winter.

What essentials do you plan to (or maybe already have started to ) stock up on?