Autumn leaves and cool night air

Autumn is officially here in Wisconsin….my tomato plants are starting to die. I’m hoping I can eek out a few more weeks (and a few more tomatoes!) from there. I’ll have to find a place for my indoor herb garden though; there’s no way I can part with fresh basil and thyme now!The air at night is cool; cool enough to sleep with the windows open and not be uncomfortable at all. During the day, it has only been in the low 70s, with no humidity; which is a blessing, as far as I’m concerned!

I do love fall though! School starts back up, the leaves begin to change colors, the holiday season fast approaches. This time of year always brings me back to “You’ve Got Mail” when Joe Fox says of the weather, “It makes me want to buy school supplies. If I knew your name and address, I’d send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.” Perhaps his thoughts are fueled by the sense of beginning again; I never felt like New Year was a new beginning. In January in Wisconsin, there’s snow, its colder than cold, and there’s no new life ANYWHERE. Not that I’m complaining about the snow; I still know how to make a mean snow angel, and will gladly do so anywhere, including on my Step Mother in Law’s yard (of course, that always illicits a few raised eyebrows, but at least I’m making the most of the season!:) )

Today was a day of productivity for me… I got my kitchen cleaned up, vaccuumed the entire apartment (no small feat considering I moved a ton of furniture!), went through the scary magazine bin (it was overflowing…frightening), made my own laundry detergent, thanks to a recipe Amy over at Contemplations Amid Chaos found a while back. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised at how nicely it cleans our laundry. And hopefully, hubby’s skin won’t flare up as badly this winter now (yes, we deal with psoriasis in our house too!) minus all those nastly chelating agents and perfumes. I’m saying a prayer and crossing my fingers. I do need to mention though, I had to use a little more than she recommended on her website. Amy states that you should only need 1 tablespoon for light loads, 2 for heavier soiled loads. I noticed that the clothes didn’t get quite as clean with 2 tablespoons (we have hard water here, and even with a water softener, well, its still hard.), so I actually upped what I was using to 6 tablespoons, then 5, and now am very happy with 4 tablespoons. I found one of those cough syrup cuppy things, and its a perfect little measuring cup! I ended up using Fels Naptha, mainly because I know and trust its name. And, it was the biggest bar out of the three laundry bars I found for the best money: Kirks Castile, Ivory, and Fels Naptha. I bought two bars, which was roughly 4 cups total, grated. I then added 2 cups borax and 2 cups washing soda, and put it all in a cute little plastic tubby I found at the dollar store. No more heavily scented laundry for me!

 Well…that’s about it for tonight. Cleaning really has brought to mind a bible verse I found in a journal I wrote in college…4 years ago now! Of course, in those days, I was great at finding the obscure books that no one ever talks about in the bible, and dissected them like crazy. However, then, as a new Christian, the following verses really shaped how I thought for a season. I found myself thinking today how easily we can forget such simple wisdom:

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”  – Haggai 1:5-6.

Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood  blogged on this today, in a roundabout way. I think reading her blog really impressed upon me what the Lord has been asking me for a while…”Are you doing this for Me, or for yourself?” As I re-evaluated certain thoughts, deeds, and actions, I had to say, “No, Lord. I haven’t been doing “x” for you.” Living for Christ, and Christ alone is something I am continually convicted of, and it is always so liberating when the shackles of the world are thrown off when you give up something for the Lord.  O Lord, that I may have clean hands and a pure heart yet!

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