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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Greater Organization

Yesterday, I attempted to gather all of our information for taxes and came up short on a couple of needed receipts....and looked guiltily at this....

As a Pin-a-holic, I feel like I should take full advantage of at least some of my activity on Pinterest so this morning I opened up my "Order and Organization" Board (interesting how my Pinterest "house" seems so much more together than my real house) and found a great link, "How to Simplify Your Filing System."  The system is based on David Allen's Getting Things Done, and while I have not read Allen's approach in its entirety, having reviewed the above link and a few others provided there, I do think it might work pretty well for me.

Leo Babauta, of the blog, zenhabits, explains,  
Why stacking doesn’t work: Because it just piles up and then the pile gets a little intimidating and then before you know it you’ve got a huge pile that you never want to go through. Then you can’t find anything when you need it, and now you no longer have a filing system.
Now Leo explains that when he did this with his home filing system it took him about an hour.  Let's just say I started today and got halfway through my files after 3 hours.  You see, hubby and I were married 2 1/2 years ago so right now we still have two filing the pile on the bed. :)  This project may take me a little bit longer than Leo suggests. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday's Tanzania

 Andrew with Idi and his family

This past November, hubby and I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Tanzania in East Africa and visit with our son who has been living there for the last almost five years.  I've been wanting to share about our trip, but how and where to I've decided "little bites" will be best and here we have the first of our "Tuesday's Tanzania."

After college, Andrew joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to a small village - Ksiwani - in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, the first Peace Corps volunteer ever to be placed there.  Andrew now lives and works in the city of Moshi (also in the Kilimanjaro region) as the manager for East Africa for "Trees for the Future"  (another post on that later), but one of the first things on our agenda was a visit to Ksiwani to meet his PC village family - who were very anxious to meet "mom" - and I was so very excited to meet all of them and to say many "thank-you's" for taking such good care of my son over those two years.

Traveling out to the village was an experience in itself - first by bus (but you wait for the bus to be full before it leaves...and then it stops along the way to drop off and pick up so don't be on a schedule -- oh, and yes, that was a live chicken in the aisle) to the closest town and then by private "taxi" when we couldn't find a van going out to the village that afternoon.  It was then that I learned that while Ksiwani was a village, where Andrew had actually lived along with his friend's Idi's home and the village's school was about 5 more miles outside of the village's center.

Idi had killed a goat in honor of our coming (and no, I had not eaten goat before but yes, I did eat it and yes, I did eat the seconds that I was offered when my bowl was empty - fortunately, Andrew explained to me that it would not be rude of me to not eat all of the 2nd round).  I was overwhelmed by everyone's warmth and such care for Andrew and him for them - it was so clear that his years there had indeed made them all family.

The following morning we were greeted by the school children arriving for their daily routine of singing and dancing in preparation of their classes.  Andrew and I then set off with Idi (on his motorcycle) to visit with some of Andrew's friends at their homes.  At each home we were greeted with chai, breakfast, and more smiles.

Of course, my favorite visit was with Mama Freddie where I was presented with a kanga, the traditional wear for women in central/east Africa.

Freddie (Mama's oldest son - hence, "Mama Freddie" - my name was "Mama Andrew") had been a good friend of Andrew while he was in the village, but Freddie was away at university in Dar es Salaam when we visited.

Next Tuesday - learn more about the Ksiwani futbol team!

Monday, January 28, 2013


Do you "Pin"?  If not - just enjoy the picture... If so, do you pin selectively?  Yes?  You are going to have to explain how you do that - must be linked to my shopping addiction, I'm guessing?  I do not pin selectively.  Now I do not pin everything - there are no pins for wood pallets on my boards - I do understand my limitations and my interests.  There are no pins for weddings (I do still have three unwedded lovely adult children, but I'm thinking with each of them that the circumstances are that when and if a wedding arises, I may have little input - I'll just get to enjoy, not arrive with plenty of pins to share - and if that should change, well, I know I can pin in a hurry).  And there are very few sewing pins...well, sometimes, in a weak moment.

But cookies?  Oh, yes, the "Cookie Jar" board is quite full.  And hubby couldn't be happier.  You see, hubby is the head baker here (which means I couldn't be happier).  This past weekend we "looked" into the "Cookie Jar" to find a new recipe and decided to test out these - Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies.  When the first batch came out of the oven, hubby called from the kitchen, after sampling, "I am never making regular chocolate chip cookies again!"  I completely agree - they are beyond delicious.  Definitely a Pinterest success (and you know there are plenty of Pinterest-fails out there).  The picture above is from Plain Chicken's blog, the source of the recipe.  I'd show you a picture of one of our cookies, but our real cookie jar is empty.  Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Greater Expectations

I spent a good part of this weekend starting up this new blog and in doing so, took the time to look through old posts over the last 5 years at my old blog.  Wow!  Such changes in my life.  Looking back to five years ago I would not have guessed that this is where I would be, yet I would not for one second want to be anywhere else.  I now know that a good part of that has to do with expectations - and having greater expectations for myself and for my self-worth, greater expectations for others.    What a difference it has made...and continues to make.

What about you?  A few questions to consider - where were you five years ago?  How are your expectations these days?  And where do you think you want to be five years from now?