Tuesday, January 27, 2015

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

I haven’t linked up with the #TuesdayTen at The Liebers blog in a while.

A long while.

I’ve also not known the sweet sense of accomplishment 
with actual glass and porcelain and stainless steel can provide.


So here is the latest list:

10 Things I Can’t Live Without

1)  A kitchen.

I know, I’m a broken record. But seriously, meals are tough to prepare without a sink and running water and a stove and just one real knife. To say that we are sick of take-out is SUCH an understatement. I was LITERALLY sick of the Thai take-out we had Saturday night. So much so, Monte and the girls had to go to church without me Sunday morning. 

2)  Running water on the first floor.

It’s made me think twice about cutting an apple or cheese or lettuce when I know I’m going to have to go to the basement to wash the knife and cutting board in the utility sink where we give Nigel his bath. And wash out our paint brushes. And where spiders go to die as it turns out. 

In all the changes with the house, the workers took out one of the only two lights we had in our laundry room. And by lights I mean a naked bulb screwed into a socket. So now the remaining light is way off in a corner far from the utility sink and washer and dryer. I never really know if what I’m cleaning is clean. Or what I’m washing is in the same color family. I broke down and bought those color out sheets that are supposed to right any laundry wrong by pulling out color where color should not be. They work!

3)  A place to recharge.

It’s been a fairly new discovery that I am an extrovert that needs alone time to recharge. Not sure why I’ve never been able to put my finger on that. But lo and behold, I am. And when you are living in a construction zone with lots of people coming in and out during your “recharging time”, it’s hard not to want to throw a fit. Even when they are installing your hardwood floors. 

4)  My laptop.

I know, that makes me seem way more important or geeky than I am, but it is pretty key to my writing. And getting ideas on what paint colors to put in the kitchen and family room. And what style of cabinet pulls and knobs I like. And HOW MUCH a leather sofa is going to cost (?!) And, of course, what the latest deal is on Pick Your Plum. 

5)  Water.

No, #6 isn’t going to be air. I’m dead serious, I LOVE water! I’ve never been one of those people that has to force herself to drink 8 glasses a day. I surpass that easily. Happily. In fact, I may have mentioned that I was pretty stressed about how I was going to live without filtered water during this construction project. You want to know how? LOTS and LOTS of bottled water. We may single-handedly fill an entire landfill with just the bottles of water consumed during this house project. It’s crazy. And can we talk about how flimsy the bottles have become? The crunching sound the thin plastic makes when you simply pick it up is deafening. Drives. Me. Crazy. I hope to never purchase another bottle of water for a VERY, VERY, VERY long time after our house is done.

6)  Air. Kidding! My family.

I really do enjoy being with the people that live in this house. They are my favorite people. I’m so sad when I hear it isn’t that way in other families. That dread and maybe even fear exist upon one of their own entering a room. I can’t even imagine. And I say that as a parent of two hormonal girls. Monte and I look forward to growing old together. Well, continuing to grow old together. 

7)  Reading Material.

Not only do I feel the absolute need to read devotions and the bible (not in a legalistic way), I really enjoy it. I like good reading. It can be in the form of a blog post or an article in a magazine or a book. I’m never without reading material. In fact, I like to read during commercials while we are watching TV. Last night I read the most interesting article on the link between diet and Alzheimer’s while Monte was upstairs praying with the girls. SPOILER ALERT:  I’m on a fast track to not knowing who my favorite people are by the time I’m 60 if I don’t lay off the candy. Sadly, sugar is not good for your mental health. 

I’ve just started reading Sophie Hudson’s latest book,  “Home is Where My People Are”. 

I’ve already laughed out loud and texted my mom on just how right she is in describing small town life. In particular, small town church life.

I’m also reading “Enough. 10 Things We Should Be Telling Teenage Girls” by Kate Conner. 

This book is just awesome and I’m only two chapters in. It’s written by a mom in her twenties, so it seems a bit more fresh and relevant. Believe me, once you actually HAVE teenage daughters, you are no longer fresh or relevant. My daughter saw me dressed for a party and said she never wanted to get “so old” that wearing my particular pair of gray pants seemed like a good idea. Ouch. 

The first chapter describes femininity as a superpower given by God and how if it is improperly taught and regarded, it can lead to burkas or spandex miniskirts. (Not a peep about gray pants.) Great stuff!! I’ve already bought the teen version of the book for my girls to read. 

Hopefully, one chapter will address

8)  My people. 

It’s been so vital these past four months to have people stop by and see our construction zone and offer their opinions on so many things that I never would’ve thought of on my own or paid someone to tell me. I need all the free help I can get! Especially now that we are at the crucial pick paint color(s) stage. 

My parents drove 4 hours last week to bring an over 100-year-old barn beam to me to use as a fireplace mantle. 
Isn’t it beautiful?

The going rate around here for anything barn wood and old is about $500. Dad found a guy who’s barn fell down and he was planning on burning all the wood and beams. Can you imagine?! He gave us this beam, get this, FOR FREE. 

Also, the dinners! It’s been so great to be invited into homes that use real plates and knives and forks and glasses that don’t crinkle so loud when I pick them up to take a sip that I have to turn the TV up louder.  We’ve been brought meals too. Real actual delicious homemade meals that didn’t make me so ill I had to miss church. We certainly have been loved by our people through this whole project.

9)  Fellowship.

We left a church about 5 years ago. While we were trying out other churches, it was just the worst feeling of not belonging. I missed the fellowship of church. A church where I KNEW people and they KNEW me.  And no wonder, we were MADE to fellowship. To be in the company of other believers to encourage each other and hold each other accountable. I posted this recently:

But the verse goes on:

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

See? We are meant to spur one another on by MEETING TOGETHER, fellowshipping. Doing church. God says so. 

10)  Funny.

I think we all knew that was coming. Seriously, if I get so far in a situation where I cant see the funny, than Ive lost hope. And hope is all we have. Like Tim Hawkins said, its our God-given weapon against this world. I could not have fought off lice without it. Or managed to walk about town with three bandages on my neck covering a fiery red tear drop shaped chemical burn with an intact mole in the middle of it. Or survived ANY doctor appointment with Carisa. Not one. 

So that’s my list. 
What 10 things could YOU not live without?


  1. Glad you linked up again! I would like to do some serious remodeling in our home, but I dread the hassle of it all.

  2. Wow, I love your list, have a 17 and 12 y/o daughters...... Oh boy.... I want to be in your shoes but I don't. The hubs keeps threatening a new kitchen and hardwood floors, but the thought of people in my house, and all that mess makes me want to run to the hills screaming..... Good luck mate!!!!

  3. While I agreed with many of the things on your list, I forgot every single one when I got to your barn wood. I just happen to have several old barns with wood that looks JUST LIKE YOUR MANTLE! The biggest barn is close to falling down, and I want to take it down before it does. I want the wood to be used. I just have no idea how to go about doing it.
    OK, I've gone back and refreshed my memory. Oh, construction is painful to live through. We redid our kitchen 2 years ago. I know what you mean when you say you think twice about cutting an apple. I found the crock-pot liners to be a fantastic help in my quest to have nothing to wash.

  4. Great list Karmen. I have heard good things about "Home is where my people are" and am anxious to read it. I appreciate your review as I respect your opinion. Hang in there with your renovation - the end product will be so amazing for you. As for the sugar info - boo. I know it isn't good but I just love a bit (or two bits or three...) of the sweet stuff. If all else fails I guess we could end up neighbors in the nursing home - you would surely keep me entertained : )


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