a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, May 4, 2012

What If . . . You Need to Light a Match in Adverse Conditions?

Have you ever tried to keep a match lit 
 in adverse conditions?
       Very difficult! Always frustrating! Often impossible!

                Unless you are using the simple-to-make 
                       5-minute match!

Perfect for times you need to start a fire when the wind            is blowing and/or you are lacking proper kindling.  

Quick and Cheap to make ---- 
invaluable to have!


  • a box of wooden "strike anywhere" matches
  • yarn cut into 18" lengths
  • paraffin wax and
  • a small empty tuna can or similar
1. Tie a piece of yarn just below the head of the match, then using a series of half-hitches (for the men) or chain stitches (for the women), wrap the entire length of the match stick with the yarn, leaving just enough area uncovered at the end of the  stick to allow you to hold the match. There should be a "tail" (or length) of yarn remaining.

2. Once the matches are complete, melt the paraffin wax in the can which is sitting in a pan of water over low heat. Watch carefully as wax is highly flammable! 

3. Holding each match by its remaining yarn "tail", lower the match into the melted wax. After a few moments remove the wax covered match and allow to dry on a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil. Repeat the process.

4. When the wax is completely dry, cut the off the excess yarn and store the matches in a safe container. An empty plastic medicine vial is good for this.

Flaming match

I have yet to see one of these matches fail to light and have never needed to light a second one to get the job done!

I love quick, cheap and useful things you can recreate yourself. I hope you do also! I am 
          Simply, Gail

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Turning Negatives into Positives . . . Changing the Way We View Our Circumstances

When you look at this image what do you see?
And if you look again, do you see the same image?

Do you see a pretty young maiden. . .?  

Or do you see a haggard old woman? 

And when you look again, do you see the same image?

I rediscovered this fascinating drawing when I was busy cleaning out my bursting-at-the-seams file cabinet last week. 

I have had this illustration for years but this time it vibrantly illustrated for me, the different ways different individuals view life. 

 Negatively?  Positively?  

Which ones are the happiest?

Which ones are we drawn to?

In A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, Tigger is cheerful and enthusiastic.  Another character Eeyore the donkey, while lovable, "is dismally gloomy for almost eternity." 

If you say "Good Morning to Eeyore he replies http://www.just-pooh.com/assets/audio/eeyore/eyegmorn.wav

To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.
                                                                                                                         Ralph Waldo Trine

We can take simple steps to make sure we, and subsequently others, have a good positive day.  If we can't make it an entire day, we can start with just the morning, or maybe just an hour.

Happiness increases automatically when we

  • Look for the good in any situation 
  • View a glass as half full rather than half empty
  • Count blessings rather than problems
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life: 
  • It turns what we have into enough, and more --- 
  • It turns denial into acceptance --- 
  • Chaos to order ---
  • Confusion to clarity ---
  • It can turn a meal into a feast ---
  • A house into a home, 
  • A stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                         (thanks to Melody Beattie for her wonderful insight insight and reminders on gratitude)

Warning: Attitude Adjustments don't happen overnight!

But they can happen! At first we have to be aware of how, over and over, our attitude can change as fast as our situation ----- and practice, over and over, turning the negative into the positive ---- as often as necessary.

There is no time like the present to begin . . .

A Short Prayer

Dear Lord,
     So far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that.
    But, in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.                                                               author unknown