Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Winner!

Okie Dokie! Here's the scoop. After all the entries were put into a hat and with random draw, Skoots1mom won the drawing for Kathryn's book.


Yay! Thank you all so much for participating!

I highly recommend this book to any of you who are trying to reorganize and declutter no matter the size of your space.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Celebrating With A Giveaway!

In March 2008, soon after I started posting to my blog, I met Kathryn Bechen. Yes, I met her the way most bloggers meet...somehow she found my blog, or I found hers and a blogging friendship began.

I admire Kathryn and her lifestyle of choice for many reasons, probably because I have parallel interests. She loves to organize and decorate and write. She loves her husband and making her home a haven. When I visit her blog, I come away encouraged with more inspiration for living a life of intention and purpose.

Across the years I have collected books on organization and keeping an orderly home and office. So late last year when I was contacted by a representative from Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group to see if I would be interested in doing a book review post on my blog of Kathryn's latest book, "Small Space Organizing", I did a happy dance right there by my laptop computer...well inside my heart I did a happy dance!

I am giddy with excitement to participate in a blog tour to promote her book January 15 - 21, 2012.

Kathryn is a published author and has had articles featured in many magazines and publications across the country. I am thrilled to participate in promoting her new release.


Kathryn writes with humor and honesty about her life. She and her husband have chosen to live in small homes and she tells about this. I found her reasoning behind this lifestyle choice to be quite interesting.

This book is applicable to anyone who wants their home or office or life to be more organized and orderly for living well. Though it is primarily written to those who live in small spaces I feel that the ideas she gives will help anyone be more organized in general, no matter the size of the space or area of frustration in your home.

You will not be disappointed in the information you receive from reading this book.


I collect organization and time management books so I was over the moon with excitement when I received my very own copy of Kathryn's book hot off the press.

After much consideration about this, I have decided to give it to one of you. I have read it so it has been gently used. It has so much wonderful information in it and one of you may need it to get your lifestyle off to a more orderly start for 2012.

On Sunday evening at 9 p.m. eastern time, January 21, 2012, I will choose the winner of the book by random selection.

In order to have your name entered for the drawing you need to do 2 things.

1. Leave a comment stating that you are a follower of this blog.

2. In your comment state why you would like to receive this book.
AND (as a bonus)
if you would choose to tell about my giveaway on your blog I will enter your name 2 times, but you need to let me know you did when you leave a comment. Or to have your name entered 3 times, visit Kathryn's blog and once again let me know this in your comment.

In the meantime, happy organizing and de-cluttering!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Bbbbrrrrr! It Is Cold

Today's temperature is 14 degrees F. with a wind chill of -3 degrees F. Most of yesterday the wind howled its' way across Indiana in what the weather man called a "Skipper". Last night "Skipper" continued to howl. "Skipper" must have felt very lonesome. He sounded lonesome anyway. So this morning I'm sure the sun will rise and chase his lonesome blues away, but he's making sure we know he has been here.

Is it true that bears hibernate in the winter? If so, I think I know why! Sorta sounds fun today.

But I didn't have to get up and build a fire to warm the house and our cars have heaters, so life is good, yes, very off to school and work we go.


Have a good day where you are? Is it warm and sunny there? UUmmm no don't tell me.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Who Would I Be Without Her?

My mother worked the hardest of any lady I have ever known. I'm not saying that other ladies haven't worked as hard, I just don't know them. She married my daddy on December 19, 1936 at the young age of 19. It was on the tail end of "The Great Depression". Yes, that one that happened back in the 30's. Times were hard and the tasks of the day must have taken grit and determination edged with optimism and hope AND strong faith in God, because we were taught those values over and over.

My mother was without question on my daddy's team. Together they could do anything to which they set their heart and mind. Little by little their goals and dreams became realities as the joy and heartache of each task etched deeply into the family they eventually became. They raised us to work hard and be honest and kind to others whether they were young or old, rich or poor. They instilled in us a deep reverence for God. They taught us that through Him we could overcome or endure hardship.

My parents owned a wheat and cotton and dairy farm in Southwest Oklahoma. They owned and herded sheep and one winter lived in a tent on the range to care for the young ewes who were soon to birth lambs. At some point Daddy felt he should minister to hurting people and they sold everything to follow that call. In the span of their life together they built two houses and two churches debt free. They lived the "Dave Ramsey Lifestyle" before it was the "in thing" to do. My mother taught us to reduce, reuse and recycle in a way that would make any current "Green Movement Guru" her most vocal fan. We were taught to do without and be contented or figure out a way to come up with what we needed. Across the span of my mother's life there were several times the different homes in which she lived had no running water or indoor plumbing and definitely no furnace or central air.

She killed rattlesnakes and wiped tiny noses, gathered eggs and patched many pair of jeans. She gave the best soft and cheerful kisses on the top of tiny heads and sang a wonderful lullaby bop as she rocked babies in an old cane bottom straight back chair. She cooked gallons and gallons of beans and oatmeal. She could pull a group of kids and grand kids together in a group effort to snap a bushel of green beans more quickly than you could realize you were involved in "work". Her brown eyes were soft and kind. In my mind I can hear her say, "Just do your best and don't worry about the rest".

She didn't realize what an amazing cook and decorator and seamstress and family administrator she was. She didn't realize how godly and what a great counselor she was simply by listening. She was just Mother. If she laughed too hard, I cried. Yes, I did, I cried. And oh my, she could get so tickled and laugh and laugh and I cried harder. I dunno...maybe the harder I cried the more tickled she became but her initial onset of laughter would have nothing to do with my crying of course. I was told that my immediately older brother also cried when she laughed hard, so maybe I learned this technique from him!

As the youngest of her ten children, it still amazes me the way she cared for each one of us. I'm sure there were times she felt like there wasn't enough of her to go around her family needs and responsibilities.

She wanted all of us to play musical instruments. We did. How did she endure it? She wanted us to sing. We did. How did she endure that? She wanted all of us to go to college if we wanted. And so we did. I heard her sighs and prayers and her songs. Now as an adult with children, I realize those things were her way of keeping herself and others encouraged.

I didn't like to be away from my mother, except to go to school, but even then I would run out to the mailbox to wait for the bus and if I didn't hear its' rumble coming up the hill I would run back to the house and jerk open the door just quickly enough to say, "Bye Mother bye!" Then I would run back to the mailbox to wait. But if the bus wasn't coming I had to repeat this process. I was born when she was 47. I grew up with a keen sense that I might not have her in my life as I grew older and I loved her. She was my comfort.

I will never forget the day that mother sat on the front porch balcony of the home in which I grew up. Philip and I stood on the front steps. She told Philip, "You can take Rachel anywhere you want to take her, just be kind to her and love her." I suppose in a way she passed that mantle of comfort along to him. He has not let her down. She would be proud of him. As a mother now, I know the depth of those words.

As her family grew, so grew her love and knowledge and wisdom. I can only wish to be half the wife and mother and grandmother and sister and friend that she was. She has been an almost constant thought to me.

Happy 95th birthday Mother. I will see you again one day. I know you are waiting.

Love, Rachel Ernesteen

Ernesteen Frances Shumaker Easley

January 7, 1917 - July 15, 1998

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Already?

Happy New Year to all my family and friends. I simply cannot believe it has been over 4 years since my niece set up this blog and emailed me to start blogging. Then January 1, 2008, I finally got the courage to publish a post.

I never realized how much I would enjoy writing a blog. I have always loved to write my thoughts. The Christmas I was 9 years old I asked for a diary and I've written a journal to some extent ever since.

As I talk to people from day to day they say, "You should write a book." An older gentleman told me that for the second time a couple of days ago. Sigh...I'm busy. You're busy. Everyone is busy. Life is so demanding. I'm looking for ways to work smarter.

I do love having a blog. It's like a friend that is there waiting for me no matter how much time has passed or what has happened. I can write what I want, and say what I want, and post if I want. But if I choose to not say it "out loud" my blog is happy to save it in draft and not tell a soul. I like that about my blog! I try my best to tell you the good stuff!

At the start of this year I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much you mean to me. I appreciate the emails and comments and texts and my friends who tell me they read this blog but don't leave comments. Thank you for all your support and encouragement. I appreciate is deeply. As I stated before I know how busy you are and when you take time to reach back to me, I don't take that for granted. You (or should I say y'all) are the best!

I wish for you a new year that is filled with peace and love and overflowing joy.

So I along with all of you have taken that first step into the new year. Take a deep breath and keep moving forward. Hold your head high and smile.