Category Archives: The Interweb

Taking a Break

My brain is tired. Just plain tired.

The idea of an internet fast has been brewing for awhile. I’ve been feeling a bit bombarded by information lately, overwhelmed with social media and hundreds of interesting blog posts that I just have to read.

This morning, I opened my Bible to Romans 12 (I’ve been reading Romans over and over again since August), and the second verse practically glowed. Okay, it was already highlighed in yellow, but really, it stood out to me. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

I’ve needed to do some serious debriefing for awhile now. I still have my experience from Breakforth in the back of my mind, a year old now and fading fast. My postpartum issues have fogged my mind and made working through new ideas difficult. I try to leave my computer turned off for a good part of the day, but even when I wait until late afternoon, I still spend hours on it in the evening. I’ve been staying up too late, often just because I’m reading something or watching something online.

I need a break.

So, on Wednesday, I’m going to start a week of internet fasting. I may have to do a bit of online banking, but I don’t plan to blog, Facebook or check email for a full week.

I do plan on writing a lot in that week. I may spend some time creating something if I feel up to it. I intend to spend a bit more time just sitting with my kids and giving them my attention. I’m sleep deprived, have a teething baby and I need to do some figurative deep breathing for a while.

I’ll spend tomorrow finishing up as much as I can so that I can be away from all of this for a week, but really, other than some banking and a few emails that I should send, it’s not as though I need to use the internet.

If anyone else decides to try a day or two, a week, a month, etc. of internet fasting, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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Filed under Faith, Life, in general, The Interweb

Time to keep the floors clean

Well, with how much this boy loves to eat paper, I guess it’s time to start making sure there isn’t any in his way, because he’s finally moving!!

And, in other news, a recent Pioneer Woman post sent me over to freerice.com and a new addiction was born.  Okay, so addiction is a strong word, but it is pretty fun. Answer questions correctly (mainly English vocabularly, but there are other subjects, too), donate 10 grains of rice to feed the hungry.  Corporate sponsors do the actual donating for every correct answer.  Pretty sweet, hey?

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Filed under Kiddos, The Interweb

Returning to Reality

Three days ago I got caught in a two-hour downpour…of online comedy videos.  But really, it felt like something I couldn’t pull myself out of.  When I finally emerged, my head hurt, my ears felt as though they had cotton in them (I was wearing headphones), and I had this feeling of having been unconscious for all that time.  I went out to get some food and I felt anxious and paranoid.  The first thought in my head once I acknowledged these feelings was how important it is to anchor our lives in reality.  The not-connected-to-computers reality. 

With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia and other popular websites so readily available for social interaction, entertainment and information, it’s easy to forget the real world. 

I recently heard part of a radio show on CBC.  The topic was unplugging – having a technology sabbath – a day free from computers, cell phones, television, etc.  I have tried something like this at home by leaving my computer off for a day or two at a time.  I find that if I don’t turn it on, the lure just isn’t there in the same way.  If I turn it on, even just to check my bank account or send a single email, I’m likely to get pulled into hours of random surfing and constant Facebook checking that only ends with time wasted.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not at the point of wanting to completely give it up.  I like being connected to my friends and family back home through Facebook, being able to do my banking online and find a recipe or bit of information online so easily.  What I’m aiming for right now is reducing my total time on the computer each day.  I don’t need it every hour – I don’t need it every day.  There are weeks where I could go without it at all.  The point is that this constant bombardment of media is just not good for my brain.

I asked God as I fell asleep a few nights ago – what should I be doing?  A simple question but it had a good answer.  The first part was to continue to nurture my family.  The second was to guard my mind.  With all that is available online, it’s all too easy to let your guard down.  With that guard down, the mind gradually becomes numb to sinful behaviour.  It is not my job to judge, but it is my job to keep my own mind and heart pure.  This is enough of a challenge just living in this world, but living in the world within the internet, it becomes even more difficult.

Anyway, ever since this happened, I’ve been meaning to write about it.  I’ve had at least one day since that I left the computer off the whole day, and another day when I didn’t turn it on until very late in the day.  I hope to continue this trend and avoid getting sucked in again.  If you (my readers? I think I still have a few 😉 ) have this problem, let me know if you try what I’ve been doing.  If you have conquered it in the past, let me know what worked for you.  Or just read this and do what you like…I have no visions of grandeur about my blog. 😀

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Filed under Faith, Life, in general, The Interweb

Updated links

I finally – at long last – updated my links…my “blogroll” if you will.  I changed up the categories and basically listed all the blogs I regularly read.  They’re all on my Google Reader and I keep up with them weekly, if not daily.  If I’ve ever commented on your blog but didn’t have you linked and you’ve wondered why your blog wasn’t here – this is why – I’m lazy.  That’s all. 

I’m going to try really hard to keep up on adding new links when I find them and removing old links, particularly those that are no longer active.  There’s nothing worse then clicking on someone’s link and finding it either inactive or full of entries made three years ago.  Okay, there are lots of things that are far worse, but it’s still pretty obnoxious.

Yeah, that’s it.  Happy Monday!

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Filed under The Interweb

Time to write?

Who has the time anymore?  Not me. 

Okay, so it’s not busyness that has been keeping me away.  It’s those darn Sims.  It was a ridiculously good birthday gift that Mike bought me.  Even he’s hooked.  So, when the kids are occupied or sleeping, I play, and when Mike is home and gets the chance, he plays and I’ve been knitting.  At least something productive was being done.

Amazingly enough, I’m not behind on my laundry or dishes and the house isn’t really much worse than it normally is.  It’s just the online stuff that I’m slacking off on, and since I don’t think of this as being the real world, it’s not so bad.

So, I knitted a whole blanket.  Well, a whole baby blanket, anyway.  I’m pretty proud of it, even though I made a few mistakes and didn’t exactly piece it together perfectly.  It was a gift for my secret prayer pal from last year who had a baby on the 24th of September.  I made a pink and purple checkered blanket – size 15 needles, cast 20 stitches on and worked knit 2, purl 2 for 32 rows, then switched colours.  I made three strips like this – two purple, pink, purple strips and one pink, purple, pink strip and then sewed all three together to make a square(ish) blanket.  It was soft and cozy and pretty quick to make since I used such big needles and chunky yarn.  I had already given her an outfit for the baby, so I thought something homemade would be nice for her baby shower.  Turns out, for blankets, she only got the one I made her and the standard Olga quilt (from the mother of one of my husband’s friends who makes a quilt for just about every baby shower hosted at the church…her name is Olga, by the way).  I was glad to have put the time in to make it and glad to have it finished so I can move on to other things.  Next on the agenda is the sewing project that I’ve been avoiding for two months now.  The one I started way back in 2007.  It must be finished, so I’m just not going to do anything else until it’s done.  That’s the sound of me putting my foot down, just in case you were wondering.

So, anyway, my apologies for slacking off so much  here.  There will come a time (I assume) when The Sims will get boring and I’ll return to the land of food blogs, crafting websites, blogging, Facebook, emails and online friendships, but for now, I’m going to go build another house…or perhaps I’ll see if I can get my Sim’s lifetime aspiration fulfilled.  Wow, I’m such a nerd.

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Filed under Art, Life, in general, The Interweb

The first non-pregnancy post in a long while

While I have been devoting myself to weekly updates on my third pregnancy, today I felt the need to write and for once, it had nothing to do with being pregnant.  So I thought that this would be a better place for it to land.

I have two subjects: food and housecleaning.  For a messy housewife, these things are often connected by need, but lately, they have just set themselves against each other in a bitter feud.  Okay, I’m getting a little overly dramatic now – moving on.

I’ll start by saying that my food obsession (yes, I know, you know about that already) is interfering with my need to clean.  And when I say “need to clean” I don’t mean that I crave cleaning…I mean that my house needs to be cleaned, no matter how reluctant I am to do it.  My food obsession has found its satisfaction in reading restaurant reviews on various blogs.  Some of these are restaurants that I may actually get to eat at someday (i.e. those in Seattle), but most are places that are not on my list of desired destinations (Delaware, Philadelphia, etc).  If anything, these blogs just make me want to eat better food than I’m eating already, and unfortunately, prove to me yet again that the restaurants in this town suck.  If I wanted to write restaurant reviews for Fort St. John, I’d have something to do for a few months – until the ten or so restaurants worth eating at ran out.  Then I could pretend to be “cool” by writing reviews on the breakfast at A&W or the late night service at Humpty’s (for you Americans..Humpty’s is like Denny’s..but sort of cheaper and with a better menu).

Alas, I’m confined to my little town (that I happen to love, actually) and have to be content with living vicariously through a number of foodies who don’t know or care who I am. 

The latest gem in my collection of food blogs is Mac & Cheese – the girl who is writing from Delaware and Philadelphia.  She’s a vegetarian, which is why this makes it so great reading her reviews.  She also has recipes, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.  I was previously in the habit of randomly selecting entries to read when one looked good, but then I found that I was forgetting which ones I had read – so now I do it by date or restaurant/recipe name, depending on the blog.

Some of the blogs I’ve been reading are interesting, but I would never try the things they are eating or making.  For instance, over at The GastroGnome, Naomi recently made duck prosciutto.  That just doesn’t appeal to me at all.  My dirty little secret (shh) is that occasionally poultry of some kind sounds okay, but the truth of the matter is that every time I’ve attempted to re-introduce it to my diet, I just haven’t been impressed enough.  I’d rather eat fish any day.  However, duck, rabbit, veal, beef, pork, etc. don’t appeal to me at all, and I don’t expect them to anytime soon.  Even with the raving reviews that some of these dishes get, I can’t imagine sinking my teeth into Ethiopian raw ground beef (kitfo) or bone marrow.  Bleck. 

Anyway, finding a vegetarian foodie is terrific…but it won’t be long and my obsession will have lead me to reading all of her entries, at which time I will, with a great deal of hope, check back each day to see if there is anything new, only to waste more time because often, there are no new entries on food blogs for a week or so.

So, as for the rest of it, I have three projects – no wait, four – in my house that need to be completed, preferably before the baby is born.  One: the living room.  This isn’t even such a huge task, although the entry way is going to need some serious sweeping up and mopping to look like actual floor surface again.  The living room has been slowly getting better, but only because I got rid of a few things and finally moved some bins to the shed (or rather, had Mike move them for me).  At this point, there are some various things that need to be picked up and put away – kids clothes, winter clothes, shoes that don’t fit anymore, blankets, books, etc – and a whole lot of sweeping or vacuuming.  I tend to enjoy sweeping better, but it is a bit back breaking when you have a whole room to do and it’s as bad as mine is.  The reason it doesn’t get done more often is because my children have decided that things look better on the floor than where they belong.  Pillows, blankets, toys, books, mail, clothes, etc. all end up there, where they collect dust and dirt and crumbs.  One of the goals I have in cleaning my house is organizing it as well and making it less likely that the kids things will be left all over the place every day.  So far, my kitchen cleaning is sticking.  All I have to do is keep up on sweeping the floor when it needs it and making sure to wipe up spills when they happen.  Keeping toys out of the kitchen is another part of it, but at least Jenny can be told to take things back out as soon as she brings them in.  Elias may understand, but it doesn’t mean that he learns from it.

Okay, so I went off track a little bit there.  My second project is my laundry room.  It’s ridiculous.  It’s gotten to the point where I can barely walk into it, and the kicker it is also the furnace/hot water tank room and the hallway to the back door.  We have a baby gate between the hallway and laundry room because there is no way I would want my children going in there.  Who knows what they might eat or step on.  At the moment, my mental image of this room includes at least a dozen pop bottles that Mike has so graciously thrown into it, various items of clothing that are either dirty or need to be repacked in the shed somewhere, a diaper pail that is currently not being used, my tool box, with contents spilling out, various bags and boxes and loose items for recycling and some shelving on the floor that hasn’t been put up yet (well, obviously).  All that in a room with floor space measuring approximately four feet wide by eleven feet long.  My dad put up a shelf, but it serves now to hold paint that we haven’t used yet, rather than it’s original purpose of holding some of the cleaning supplies and tools stored in this room.  It needs serious work and is possibly the most daunting of the projects I have set out.  Unfortunately, you also can’t avoid seeing it if you’re walking down the hall, so it should be the second room on my list.

As for three and four – I’m not yet sure which I ought to tackle first, although our bedroom is certainly in greater need of cleaning than the kids’ room.  The thing is, if I have people over with kids, they will inevitably play in the kids’ room, which means that it gets seen and used more often and should be safe and clean for that reason.  Our bedroom is really bad – hasn’t been vacuumed in who knows how long, because I haven’t been able to see the floor for that long.  Again, lots of things that need to be washed or taken to the shed. 

It is at times quite daunting to think about the remaining work to be done, but then I can be thankful for the size of my house that I don’t have more to do.  This is one time when having a small home pays off.  The downside is that we have no where to put so much of the junk that’s making a mess, and if we had a little more room (a basement, perhaps), we would have that available.  I can also look forward to getting these projects done because I have managed to clean my kitchen and bathroom quite thoroughly (okay, except for my desk) and am proud of them.  I still don’t want people coming over because the first thing they see is the living room, but at least if they glance in, they might notice the clean kitchen counters and the lack of dirty dishes scattered around.  If they had to use the bathroom, they would be using a much cleaner bathroom than the one that existed a few weeks ago.

Well, I’ve carried on long enough to waste a good deal of time that could have been used to clean my living room.  I’ve also satisfied my need to write, so I think I can end it there.  Until the next time I fool you into reading something I wrote – good day. 

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Filed under Food Blogs, The H Word, The Interweb

Time for another one..

Yes, that’s right, it’s been far too long since I’ve written.  In part, it’s because I don’t want to admit my failure at cleaning my house.  I made a bit of progress a while back, but the only thing I’ve done consistantly is keep the sink shiny (Babystep number one from FlyLady) and keep the dining room table clear enough to eat supper at every night.  I suppose this is progress in a way, because for the longest time, we were eating regularly on the couch, and usually watching a movie while we ate (which is not a good habit to get into). 

 I’ve been spending far too much time on the computer.  I know it’s true, but I don’t know how to do anything about it.  There is just so much on the internet.  For instance, I’ve started following Lose Weight With Me and I love it.  This guy knows what he’s talking about -healthy living, rather than “lose weight fast”, which is what I’ve been doing for the last six months.  He’s candid and helpful in his posts.  Also, I’m addicted to Facebook.  Yes, first it was MySpace, then I discovered that Facebook seems to cater more to grown ups.  I get really tired of some of the stuff on MySpace..although I still use it.  Also, most of the people who I always wanted to have a MySpace (and didn’t), have Facebook.  So there you go. 

I feel like I am severely lacking in creativity today.  One good thing about today is that I discovered (through the blog mentioned earlier) an awesome video by Mika – Big Girl (You are Beautiful), and then started looking for more of his music – I LOVE IT!!  I like a lot of different kinds of music, and I’m not usually into pop, but this is a good kind of pop – the kind that makes you smile at the lyrics and want to dance.  Seriously, it’s hard to just sit here right now with some of his music in my head.  Well, except that the front shade is up, which means that if I started dancing, the neighbors would see me.  On that note, you know the old saying “Dance like no one’s watching.”?  Well, the only way you’ll catch me dancing is if no one really is watching.  I hardly ever dance around Mike.  Jenny and Elias are an exception…they love it when I dance (oooh, Mommy’s funny!!). 

Also online – I found an instructional video for making fabric from grocery or trash bags.  I have tons of these things, and I fully intend to make use of them and make some reusable thicker bags to take shopping with me.  I am so tired of throwing away plastic bags (it makes me feel guilty).  In direct relation to this subject, I also found an interesting blog: No More Garbage  I wonder if this couple has heard of melting bags together to make fabric….I’ll have to leave them a comment.

I think changing my diet and aiming for better health has made me more aware of other parts of my life that need changing.  For one thing, I want to start recycling more.  I am not an environmentalist by any means.  In fact, as some of you may remember, I once wrote a poem called “The Anti-Environmentalist Nightmare” which Brandi turned into a song for me.  However, when I start thinking about the amount of garbage we produce every month and how much of it could have been recycled, I feel guilty (I said that earlier, didn’t I?). 

I think this is also where the desire to clean my house comes from.  I’ve been throwing stuff out left and right – whether I’m actually throwing it away or giving it to a thrift store, I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff lately.  Clothes that I haven’t worn in ages, old journal entries or sermon notes that I don’t want or need anymore.  I gave the Action BC thrift store about four bags of clothes recently and I still have more that I could get rid of (I’m just sure of it, even though I haven’t gone through any more of it yet).  There are certain areas, though, that are very difficult for me to clean up.  Bills, paperwork, junk mail…it all usually ends up laying around so long I lose track of what’s new and what’s old.  This can turn into a real problem over time.  I need to have a system, I know.  I need to have places to put all that stuff so that it doesn’t get forgotten.  So far no word on whether we will have to pay a late fee on the gas bill I lost at the beginning of the month. 

I could keep writing, but I may actually try the plastic bag melting idea and I can’t do that and be on the computer at the same time (it’s a good thing, too, I need a break!).

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Filed under Environmentalism, Home Sweet Home, Life, in general, Mi familia, Music, The H Word, The Interweb