Tuesday, August 30, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Week 5

I have been slacking and putting off writing the post for this week. I got all of these done in a reasonable amount of time, but then school started for Grace last week. I spent the whole week cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, and getting Andy settled back in before preschool starts.

First I need to pick winners for week 4. I must confess that I really enjoy driving Bryan's car alone, with the music playing and the windows down. Car ride won for relaxation for week 4. As for enrichment, I have always loved making candles. Watching the wax melt, adding the scent, pouring it and watching it harden and set. Then, of course, lighting it afterwards and letting the aroma fill the room. Candle-making wins for enrichment for week 4. On to week 5, which is also the last week of my relaxation/enrichment challenge. :-)

Day Twenty-Seven:
Relaxation - Music
Enrichment - Knitting

Listening to music is a great way to shift your mood. I listened to some jazz, blues, and a little classical while I straightened up the house. Singing along always makes it more fun! Knitting turned out to be so much fun, and I got a little obsessive with it right away. But I didn't use knitting needles, I opted for looms. You can say that's not "real knitting", but I say if there is an easier way to be self-reliant, that is the smarter way! Besides, my fingers lock up when I use them too much, so needles would have been a painful and long experience. I knitted 3 hats... one for Andy, one for Grace, and one for me. Bryan doesn't want one and Andy doesn't want a picture of his until I put a car on it. :-)

Day Twenty-Eight:
Relaxation - Sunset
Enrichment - Garden Prep

Watching the sun set is always a peaceful way to end the day. It is a reminder that the planet on which we reside is a beautiful place, carefully crafted to keep all upon it alive.... and bless us with amazing sights along the way. We can see the sun setting nicely from our front porch, across the field of the elementary school. The rays usually shoot up right before the sun disappears behind the horizon, then the hues of rose and gold slowly turn to gray, then slowly darker until night sets in. Seeing the sun set tends to remind me of all that I can be thankful for, so I keep a song of praise in my heart as I watch the day turn to night. Garden prep..... it's HOT. Even in the morning. Thankfully my herb bed has a plastic weed-blocker that was put in by the previous owners. I managed to get all of the old dirt and grass-grown areas up with relative ease. But I have not bagged any of it yet, because it is HOT. I plan on doing that later this week. The ground is ready, all I have to do now is put down a new weed-blocker (I got a 10-year roll from Home Depot), lay down the fresh dirt and compost, and plant away.

Day Twenty-Nine:
Relaxation - Evening Walk
Enrichment - Garden Box

The evening walk was relaxing for all of 10 minutes. Then I was a hot, sweaty, sticky mess. The relaxing part of evening walks will have to wait until Fall sets in. Making the garden box was a fulfilling experience. Bryan recently bought a cordless drill, and I used it to make holes in lumber I purchased from the discount rack at Home Depot. Leftovers from previously cut wood can be bought for as little as $.50 each. I spent $2.00 on wood for my garden box! I lined up the wood with the holes and screwed long woods screws in to secure the pieces to make a square shape. Then I nailed weed-blocker to what is the bottom of the box, placed it in the backyard, and filled with dirt. This box will probably be used for lettuce and spinach for the Fall/Winter garden. *note to self - buy a staple gun!

Day Thirty:
Relaxation - HPT
Enrichment - Jelly

My friend Belin is a certified HPT Energy Healer. This is an alternative treatment method that involves applying pressure to points across your face and over your heart to align energy. The focus of the session was relaxation, and the outcome was just that. I tried to upload it as video and as a URL link, but both gave me an error that they could not be posted. It might be time to set my blog up elsewhere, this happens anytime I try to post video or URL links. Dah! Oh well. I will try to figure out later and see if I can repost it. Thank you to Belin for doing the session. You are a wonderful person with a heart of gold.
The enrichmnet was originally going to be jam, but I changed my mind at the last minute. I already have a large jar of blueberry jam that I haven't opened yet, so jelly was a better option. I opted to make grape jelly, and ended up with 4 pint-sized jars of delicious grape jelly. I have a water bath canner, and it really is easy to make jams and jellies that will stay preserved for a long time.

That is it! I finished another challenge! I will pick winners for the whole challenge later this week and post another blog about it. This challenge has helped me reconnect with myself in so many ways. I feel more relaxed, more creative, more assured of my strengths and talents, confident that I can learn more and do well with it, and thankful for all of the gifts Heavenly Father has given me to use to help my family and others.

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