Celebrating the art of making a home
  • Inspiration Wall
  • Who’s Martha?
  • Who are we?
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Archive for the ‘Refilling the Well- You time’ Category

    Extra, Extra, Read all about it!

    Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

    Modern Day Martha is starting a book club. We’re no Oprah, but reading is one of the best ways to recharge your battery, refill your well, and a number of other apt analogies.  The trick is finding time to balance reading and the rest of life;  you know, making sure everyone in the house doesn’t starve while you finish those last couple pages. So often the level of difficulty of the books we read goes down with the level of busy-ness in our lives, and while YA novels are great, sometimes a challenge is good.

    So our first book is a doozy, a true “I will if you will” selection.


    Ulysses by James Joyce.

    You know you want to. You may be terrified, but you know you want to at least try it.

    Because we’re all busy, there’s no time limit on this. Read a bit, and come comment on the discussion over at The Book Club.

    PS. We have it on good authority that James Joyce’s Ulysses: A Study by Stuart Gilbert is very helpful in wending your way through the book.

    Edited to add, James Joyce’s Ulysses: Critical Essays is actually the book that’s supposed the be really helpful. The other one looks good too, though.


    Thursday, January 21st, 2010

    I’m reading this book.  Don’t get judgy on me.  It’s awesome.  An example of awesome is this quote:

    You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not

    I’ve been sitting with that idea for several days, and it really resonates with me.

    Would you like to do an experiment?  It’s probably raining where you are, so an experiment where you don’t have to go outside might be nice…

    Will you sit with the idea that God is inside you for a few days, and let us know how it goes?  I hope you do…

    Be still

    Friday, January 15th, 2010

    I read this today and wanted to share. This is Vera Farmiga, talking about the book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (a book that looks AMAZING, by the way).

    “In one sublime passage, she [Dillard, the author of the book] talks about how in order to see things in all their dazzle and beauty you’ve got to be still. I’ve always found that paragraph very poignant, because in the age of high-speed Internet, fast food, and express checkouts, we attack everything at breakneck speed- so many people cannot, will not, and do not know how to be still.”

    Do you take moments to be still? Can you make one today? Will you?

    And will you share with us the dazzle and beauty you see?

    Connecting: Part 1

    Saturday, January 9th, 2010

    Do you remember that the word I chose for this year was “connect”?

    Perhaps I should say that it chose me, because my goodness, it has been an inspired and inspiring week.

    I’m going to do a series of posts on the way I’ve been incorporating this word into my life and routines, and I thought I’d start with the way I begin my mornings- connecting with my body.

    I realized that toward the end of the year I was getting really short tempered and not so pleasant to be around. And I realized that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. So I started getting to bed earlier (by 10), and as a result, found myself waking up, completely on my own (instead of by the regular alarm of “mama, mama”) at around 6. I decided to get up and actually do something with that time before the girls woke up, so I got a Kundalini yoga DVD to do in the mornings.

    Kundalini yoga is different from other practices of yoga – it’s not the style you think of with poses and long deep stretches – it has quicker movements and different breathing. It’s a perfect practice for me for the morning – it incorporates movement that wakes up my body, and meditation that wakes up my mind. (I’m using this DVD, and highly recommend it.)

    I’ve also been paying more attention to the food I put in my body; I’ve cut out all gratuitous sugar (the obvious forms of it – I’m still eating bread with sugar in it) and I’m trying to not snack unless I’m actually hungry.

    In the evenings I’m doing a Jillian Michaels workout to build strength.

    Through this process I’ve been trying to focus on working with my body, rather than my natural inclination which is to declare war on it. The concept of connecting has been key in this, and while my body hurts (oh it hurts), my attitude and approach to it are far more enthusiastic and positive than they have been in the past.

    How do you connect with your body? Are you friendly or do you find yourself feeling adversarial?

    And do you have any workout DVDs that you love? (I’m always looking for more!)


    Friday, January 1st, 2010

    A new year! Hooray!

    I love the opportunity a new year affords me to look back, look forward, assess where I am and where I’d like to be.  Last year, right about this time, I came up with a list of themes to focus on for the year.  They were:


    I set a number of my uberlist goals around them, and tried to check in throughout the year.  I succeeded in some areas better than others; in one or two I think I actually ended up farther back than I ever started.  But it was definitely a worthwhile endeavor.

    This year, I’m just picking one word, one concept.  (I was going to pick two, with the second being “simplify”, but that seemed somewhat ironic.)

    My word for the year is connect.

    There’s just so much there. I want to connect with my family,  my body,  my friends, nature. I want to connect with a sense of peace. I want to connect the steps between wanting (ie. an organized house), and doing. I want to help others connect with new friends, new ideas. I want to connect my own thoughts in new ways.  I want to connect with the Divine.

    What are your goals for the new year? Did you come up with an uberlist? If so, please link to it! I love seeing what other people come up with! (If you want to see mine, go here.)

    Need a thought?

    Saturday, October 24th, 2009

    Here’s some Amish proverbs to consider, ponder, whathaveyou. (All of the following are taken from Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher.) Pick one at random, pick your favorite, whatever you wish, but do yourself a favor and take a moment out of your day to think about something purely for yourself. If you’d like, tell us about your thoughts in the comments.

    You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

    Before we can pray “Thy Kingdom come”, we must pray “My kingdom go”.

    A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to leave alone.

    Jumping for joy is good exercise.

    Beware the man who knows the answer before he understands the question.

    A task takes as long as it takes.

    It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.

    Do unto others as if you were the other.

    Blessed are they who have nothing to day, and who cannot be persuaded to say it.

    Good deeds have echoes.


    Saturday, October 17th, 2009

    I thought we could all use a little encouragement.  This is from the Vespers Office a few days ago…

    I now place the work of the day into Your hands, trusting that You will redeem my mistakes, and transform my accomplishments into works of praise.

    Calling in sick

    Friday, October 16th, 2009

    When I was little and got sick, (which I don’t remember happening often), I got to lay in bed and read and sleep all day. My momma would check on me, making sure I had everything I needed.

    For the last two days I have been seriously under the weather. Exhausted, with an overall feeling of bleh. And while I’d like to just stay in bed all day and read, I have two little ones who would be mighty confused by that.  Not to mention that one of them has just started climbing, and if I’m not watching she’ll end up on top of the table for the 50th time today.  I’d put them in front of the TV all day, but I don’t want to use that up too soon;, and besides, A just pushed the eject button and took out the fish DVD I had playing for her, so now she has to deal with no show.

    OK, I rescind that, I just put in a Fraggle Rock DVD I found at Target for $5. We’ll see how well it goes over.

    I got myself some yummy soup for lunch, some vitamins, and some magazines to distract myself. I’m looking forward to possibly getting a nap when it’s naptime for the girls, but I’m really not counting on it.

    What do you do to take care of yourself when you’re sick and still have responsibilities to take care of? How do you take care of all of the cooking/ laundry/ household that has to keep happening? And am I the only one who is an utter beast when I don’t feel good? Please tell me I’m not.

    Putting my superwoman self together

    Friday, October 9th, 2009

    I’m a new mother and aspiring superwoman.  My daughter is almost 3 months old now and I finally feel like I have a routine down with her.  However, I still end up spending most of my days not leaving the house and when I do I try very hard to not look like I have spent all day in my sweats getting spit up on.  It’s a bit more difficult than I thought.  When I feel messy I look messy, but sometimes if I work backword and try to ‘unmessy’ the look, I can trick myself into feeling better!  I have been a hairstylist for 8 years now and using some past experiences have come up with some tips that help me feel and look a little more put together.  I wanted to share them because I’m always looking for more and hopefully this will inspire you to find those tricks that help you and PLEASE… share them with me!!

    My first and most common problem is oily hair!!  I don’t wash my hair everyday.  I know some people have a hard time with this but it is actually better for your hair if it is somewhat coarse like mine.  It always seems to be the days that I need to wash my hair when we get a phone call inviting us to some shindig that I would like to look put together for.  So what do you do?  My hair is long, so there is always the option of the ponytail. (I”m SO sick of the ponytail)  What do I do?  Baby powder!!  I know, I know, it sounds weird but try it!  What I do is part my hair down the center and sprinkle some baby powder * right on my head, then make a part just to either side and do the same.  Then flip your head upside down and rub the powdered area on your scalp.  This works because the powder absorbs the oil in your hair and falls out.  It wont make your hair white, but if you are worried than try just a tiny bit at a time.  You can always add more!

    *you can also buy talc powder if you have no need for baby powder.  I just had baby powder around the house.

    Another option is to keep a big container of inexpensive gel handy and do the ‘ol slick back ponytail.( LA Looks is a good one that comes in big containers, I’ve found)  If you have short hair you can try a can of spray wax and that can give hold to the dirty hair so it doesn’t look so oily.

    The other issue I have is not having time (or energy) to put on a full face of makeup.  Here are some things I’ve found that have helped me:  Most women I’ve talked to have that one thing that makes them feel put together.  For my mom its lipstick.  For me, mascara.  But just doing mascara is not enough for a ‘going out’ face, so I pair it with something bold.  I like to add dramatic lipstick, red is my color of choice.  If you aren’t a lipstick person maybe your an eyeliner person.  I think my sister is.  When we have a spur of the moment chance to see a movie I have seen her put on a bolder eyeliner.  I recommend experimenting with liquid if you aren’t familiar with it.  She gets really nice sharp lines with liquid.

    I guess the idea behind this is that you get your basic thing that makes you feel ‘done up’, then add something a little bolder to dress it up.  I have done dark eyeliner with my mascara and put on chap stick.  It looked like I spent more time on myself than I did and ultimately that is the trick to being a superwoman!

    So?  What do you do to get yourself in last-minute-date ready?  Do you save the expensive smelling lotion for a I-feel-hot-because-I-smell-good-so-no-one-knows-I-haven’t-showered-and-really-smell-like-sour-milk-pick-me-up?  What’s your sexy superwoman secret?

    Key words

    Friday, September 25th, 2009





    These are the themes that keep popping up in the books I’m reading, the shows we’re watching. I’m trying to take the lessons to heart.

    What are your key words this week/month/year?